After thinking about the pluses and minuses of Scott McInnis and Dan Maes, and taking no pleasure in my conclusion regarding the Colorado Republican primary for Governor of Colorado, I have decided to endorse Nobody.
Let me be very clear here: I'm not saying that I'm not endorsing anybody. Rather, I am actively endorsing Nobody, endorsing the view, also taken by some friends who have created a Facebook page entitled "Undervote Colorado's GOP Governor Primary" (whose logo I have appropriated not once, but twice, below), that the best course of action for Colorado Republicans in this election is not to cast a vote in this race. (I encourage you to "like" the Facebook page and send it around to your friends.)
I am, with some sadness but more resignation to a Republican Party that needs reworking inside and out, endorsing Nobody.
The only chance to get the primary winner to drop out of the race is if he can be made to believe, strongly enough to overcome the ego which all candidates do and must have, that he does not have enough support to win the general election and that he should therefore get out. The GOP would then fill the vacancy.
If that were to happen, it still might not help unless Tom Tancredo then drops out of the race, which he has said he won't do. And, given Tom's gambit here, I take him at his word.
It's a longshot, but perhaps the GOP wouldn't fill the vacancy, and just subtly support Tancredo, though I think Tancredo has angered too many to expect that outcome. Another possibility, as suggested by reader Ken S. is that Tancredo might be offered the Lieutenant Governor slot with specific authority over immigration-related issues. Seems like an interesting idea, but I wouldn't bet the ranch on Tancredo accepting such an offer. It could depend on who the GOP governor nominee is.
At the end of the day, this election is probably lost; John Hickenlooper is probably our next governor. This thanks to a GOP establishment which pushed the best candidate, Josh Penry, out of the race to leave us with Scott McInnis, a man who offered a partly-plagiarized paper to a foundation -- and that's the good part of that story for McInnis. And thanks, I continue to believe despite many protestations from Tea Party and other friends, to a Tea Party movement which was so smitten by Dan Maes' new guy, ordinary guy, fresh face that they forgot that experience matters. Any really relevant experience. Dan Maes is a nice enough guy upon a first meeting, which is all most people will have, but my interview with him made it clear to me that he should have run for the state legislature or some other achievable goal, not for governor. He has a decent basic foundation, but nowhere near a deep enough understanding of issues, politics, or the business of governing to make his first campaign the race for the top elected position in the state.
Arguments that it's about the "team" he puts around him are not compelling. A good team is of course important, but the team captain should be a very strong player and Dan Maes is not that, at least not yet. It's not meant as an insult to Mr. Maes who seems like a sincere person (as does his wife, Karen). What he's doing is like me trying to play for the Denver Nuggets just because I played a little basketball in high school. (Actually, Maes' relevant experience to be governor is probably even less than my relevant experience to play in the NBA.)
While I understand Tea Party and 9/12 groups' desire to elect a true outsider, it can't be at the expense of competence. Dan Maes is simply not ready to be governor of a state. And Scott McInnis is unfit in both temperament and history to be governor of a state. Let me be clear: I mean no insult to Dan Maes, and I do mean insult to Scott McInnis who should (1) have handled the "Musings on Water" fiasco much better, including (2) dropping out of the race.
The whole situation reminds me of my blog note of January 5th of this year when Bill Ritter announced he would not seek re-election (I bet he's regretting that decision now!) in which I predicted that Hickenlooper would be the Dems' nominee and I said that McInnis (the clear front-runner at the time) "would rather run against anyone but John Hickenlooper." And more: "If I were the GOP, I’d hope that John Hickenlooper finds, yet again, a reason not to run for governor." We weren't so lucky. And at this point, the Republican candidates are so damaged that they might even lose to Ritter if he were running.
As crazy as it sounds, I still think McInnis might be more electable than Dan Maes, even though after one meeting with each I like Dan Maes better than I like Scott McInnis. But by more electable, I mean maybe McInnis loses by 12 and Maes by 15. And those might be optimistic, which is a remarkable thing to believe in what is shaping up to be the best Republican year since 1994.
With looming redistricting and potential State Supreme Court vacancies, it's so important to win this seat that I really considered holding my nose and voting for Scott McInnis, not so much based on electability but on the possibility of being convinced to get out of the race. (I don't think Dan Maes will drop out under any circumstances.) But some smells are too strong to stomach, even holding one's nose and I just can't vote for a man who cheated a foundation and whose reputation among people who have known and dealt with him for a long time is "Scott is all about Scott." I have to be able to live with myself. It's why I didn't vote for John McCain. This is a different sort of problem than I had with McCain, but it leads me to the same place.
In short, I can't vote for Dan Maes for this race at this time, and I can't vote for Scott McInnis for any race at any time.
In the 2010 Colorado Republican primary for Governor of Colorado, I endorse Nobody and I encourage you to leave blank both governor choices on your Republican primary ballot.
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