Something like this seems to happen almost every year, as the Denver Post’s John Frank reports:
A former ambassador appointed by President Barack Obama is entering the already crowded Democratic contest for the open 7th Congressional District seat.
Dan Baer, the former ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, will announce his candidacy Tuesday for the post being vacated by Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter.
Baer, a 40-year-old Colorado native, was one of a handful of openly gay ambassadors nominated by the Democratic president. He said Donald Trump’s election pushed him to make his first bid for public office.
Okay, that’s pretty interesting. Dan Baer’s diplomatic record and Oxford/Harvard pedigree obviously elevate his standing over some other guy with the same name who we’ve also never heard of that might want to run for Congress. We don’t know this person but we of course respect the paper.
But then, as Baer continues regarding the three local Democrats already running for the seat:
“I think they’ve all been successful local politicians, but what I hear from people as I talk to them is that they are fed up, they want something different,” he said. [Pols emphasis] “And as bad as this moment is for many of us … people are ready for the opportunity to send fresh voices and new perspectives to Washington.”
Okay, full stop. There are two Colorado state senators and one state representative running in the Democratic CD-7 primary, and all three of them have worked harder to represent their constituents–for peanuts, we might add–than this guy has worked in his life. They’ve established strong bases of support in this district from years of representing parts of it. It’s really quite arrogant to the local party functionaries and volunteers who have known and worked with these candidates for years to have some outsider just appear out of nowhere and declare them all yesterday’s news. That’s not going to ingratiate potential supporters, and we expect Baer will learn that the hard way.
Beyond that, there’s this fairly important thing we in politics call “campaigning,” which involves quaint practices like raising money and knocking on doors! Ambassador Baer might want to learn how to do that stuff, in a hurry, since those “local politicians” are, you know, pretty experienced. That’s why they feel up to the job.
Look, if Baer manages to demonstrate that he’s someone with the political skills to effectively campaign for and represent CD-7 in Congress, he’s a welcome addition to the race. But the political graveyard is full of out-of-work overachievers who parachute into their hometowns to rekindle lost glory. Especially when they’re jerks about it.