Everyone knows what I think of Dan Maes.
But unless they find him in bed with a live boy or a dead girl, or some truly huge campaign self-destruction, I'm done talking about his faults.
The Denver Post, with fully three members of its editorial board who theoretically lean from moderate to conservative to libertarian seem to have made it their mission in life to go after Maes and at this point I'd just be piling on.
I've been asked by a few people whether I'd vote for Maes or Hickenlooper if those were my only choices. While I'd like to say I'm not sure, the truth is that I'd certainly vote for Maes if those were indeed my only options, knowing what I know now. While I don't think much of Maes' competence, I do think that as a guy who has had involvement in business (putting aside the level of financial success) he understands the importance of getting the best possible help and advice. I hope that he knows he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer and is willing to get a really really good knife sharpener.
I think he has free-market instincts and would get good advice from people I could respect, whereas neither would be true of John Hickenlooper, a Van Jones-loving, Obama fawning, radical environmentalist leftist in moderate clothing -- that is to say Colorado's very own Barack Obama without the tan.
Thinking about the election, I think that short of a serious scandal, not the petty ones we've seen so far (which are more about competence than moral turpitude), Dan Maes doesn't get less than 1/3 of the vote. I also think that it's extremely unlikely that Tom Tancredo will get 30% of the vote or more, and probably more like 20%-25%. This means that John Hickenlooper is extremely likely to be our next governor, winning by something like 43% to 35% for Maes to 22% for Tancredo.
If Maes gets out, could Tancredo win? Maybe, but probably not. If Tancredo gets out, could Maes win? Maybe, but probably not. As surprised as I am to say it, Maes probably has a better chance than Tancredo in a head-to-head match-up if he can get professional campaign staff and stop putting his foot in his mouth and stop having former supporters come out bashing him and supporting someone else.
I am not a big Dan Maes fan, but I am not repulsed by him the way I was by John McCain who I not only didn't vote for but also argued on the air against him.
I wish Maes and Tancredo would both get out. But I also wish for hundred dollar bills to start falling from the branches of my trees and that's not exactly happening for me.
Beating John Hickenlooper should be our first priority and at this point I'm willing to do it with any candidate who seems to be of at-least-reasonably sound character and not completely incompetent. I'm not entirely certain about Maes on these scores yet, but he's not disqualified the way Scott McInnis was. I still can't believe that this is who the GOP ends up with; and I can't believe how staunchly some of his supporters defend him, as if we've got the next Ronald Reagan in our midst when what we clearly have is a wannabe who's bitten off way more than he can chew. Still, we have so much to lose with a Governor Hickenlooper that I may be forced into a very uncomfortable decision:
Support an unqualified and minimally competent person with decent fundamental principles or a clearly qualified and mostly competent person with horrible fundamental principles. I'll go with the former, but not if the comparison gets any worse. I'm still angry with the Tea Partiers who are supporting their guy to the bitter end because they can't admit they made a mistake in their collective rookie enthusiasm.
I'm willing to give Dan Maes a chance to convince me, even though I think he personally does not have the skill set to give me great comfort in his being in charge, that he'd surround himself by people who could give me such comfort.
I would not take such a "soft" position most of the time; normally I would, and would expect most of you, to demand a much higher quality candidate than we have in front of us today. But these are not normal times with upcoming redistricting and possibly replacing State Supreme Court Justices.
I am definitely not ruling out voting Libertarian; in fact that remains my most likely vote.
But, as we learn of Dan Maes' Lt. Governor selection, his likely Chief of Staff, and other senior advisors, and as we hear him discuss policies and principles, when it comes to his fitness and electability for the highest elected position in Colorado I will keep an open mind. But not so open that my brain falls out.
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