(Denver Post, Aug. 28) I wish Tom Tancredo was Governor of Colorado. I wish Scott McInnis was. Heck, I wish the ill–starred Dan Maes was governor. Any Republican, any conservative, rather than the limousine liberal Democrat we’re stuck with, John Hickenlooper.
Whence these idle fantasies? Not heat stroke from recent egg–frying temperatures. Not oxygen deprivation from my annual 14er climb. No, it started when I found myself seated between Tancredo and McInnis at a GOP luncheon on Aug. 10, the anniversary of Scott’s shocking loss to Maes in last year’s gubernatorial primary.
Tancredo, you remember, was so sure neither man could beat Hickenlooper that he demanded both quit—then bolted and ran as the American Constitution Party nominee. The final numbers in a campaign most of us would like to forget were Hick 51%, Tank 37%, and Maes 11%. Ouch.
Someone said this luncheon was the first time Scott and Tom, formerly congressional colleagues, had seen each other since then. Nothing untoward occurred, and the occasion went in the file drawer of funny coincidences. But that awful August flashback got me wondering whether our party has learned enough from its debacle in 2010 to count on carrying Colorado in 2012.
My daydream of reclaiming the governorship isn’t on tap next year—perhaps just as well, since the GOP has lost five straight contests since 2004 for that seat and for U.S. Senate. So coloring the state a Republican red again in 14 months would mean winning the Colorado House and Senate, keeping or improving our 4–3 edge in congressional seats, and above all, delivering nine electoral votes against President Barack Obama.
Can the Grand Old Party do that? Part of the answer will depend on organizational and fundraising efforts by young state chairman Ryan Call, elected last winter after veteran chairman *** Wadhams stood down.