Done beating up Dan Maes

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.

  • J
    Comment from: J
    08/16/10 @ 07:57:23 am

    We cannot undue history BUT this all went wrong when they tried to force feed McInnis to us. This is not much different than what happened with McSame. The compromises need to come early in the process rather than wait till it is too late. Republicans leaders need to start the election year with the firm understanding that their "big tent" includes many libertarians and other so called fringe. They need to put forth a candidate who is not as green as Maes, wacky as Tancredo or stiff as McInnis. THINK.

  • J
    Comment from: J
    08/16/10 @ 07:59:33 am

    Ross, You may be done beating up Maes but the Denver Post is just getting started. Today will be a day Dan never forgets, just saying.

  • Comment from: Rossputin
    08/16/10 @ 08:04:07 am

    J, I agree with you. I trust that nobody thinks I am or was some big fan of Scott McInnis. He was a terrible candidate. Even his friends didn't really like him. Reminds me of a GOP version of Joan Fitz-Gerald. Good riddance. Was there a particular Denver Post thing today that caused you to write that particular comment about today being a day Dan won't forget?

  • J
    Comment from: J
    08/16/10 @ 05:05:42 pm

    I am curious how today’s meeting, between Dan Maes and the Denver Post, regarding "ground rules", turned out. I think Dan will find that the Denver Post does not subscribe to any ground rules, hence the earlier comment.

  • ken smith
    Comment from: ken smith
    08/16/10 @ 06:09:51 pm

    You're not seeing the big picture, Ross. The people who own this state aren't going to leave anything to chance. They owned Norton, and had an option on McInnis. They own Bennet, and they've just made a major play for Hick: http://www.coloradostatesman.com/content/992059-major-gop-players-line-behind-hick. Hick needs the extra money like Mizel does, but I'm certain he won't stand on principle. The 'link' between the Post and this state's big money men is Denver Rustlers. It's where all the state's political streetwalkers go to strut their stuff. Dean Singleton and his brass are as thick as thieves with Silverado Swindler Larry Mizel and his well-heeled posse. Everybody who's anybody does Rustlers (yes, even Josh). The Post has been as slanted in its coverage this cycle as any flagship paper I have ever seen, and has been solidly behind the plutocrats' chosen candidates from Day One. The Dems actually had a credible candidate to run against Suthers -- he was talked out of it, at which point, Stan Garnett (who's also in the stable) was tapped. Own the AG and the local USA, and the law is but a minor annoyance. They will do their best to run over Buck, and if you hear another peep about the DPS financial scandal from the Post, you'll be able to knock me over with a feather. There's an old saying in this town: If you want to find organized crime, follow the water. At this point, it's little more than kabuki theater.

  • tldavis
    Comment from: tldavis
    08/16/10 @ 09:52:55 pm

    What more do we need to know? Is this not the gist of my argument all along? THE GOP in this state deserves Hickenlooper. They deserve redistricting, they deserve eminent domain, etc. The only alternative is to back Maes 100% and watch them swing if Maes wins. By the way, no one reads the Denver Post, or gives the liberals who write it any credence. I know, the smart money is not on Maes, but there is a lot more disdain for Hickenlooper than anyone is counting on. Again, the ham sandwich comes into play. Maes and Tancredo can link Hick to Obama, to Van Jones, etc. If Maes can take the drubbing, he might just win. (I believe Tancredo will drop out at the last minute after his campaign has beat Hickenlooper up good) You all are being sold out by the GOP establishment. They are pissed because they didn't get their way, now they will blow up the process rather than back a Tea Party candidate. I called it a long time ago. You either fight back out of principle or join them. I don't care about Maes, I do care about giving the establishment a black eye.

  • J
    Comment from: J
    08/17/10 @ 07:50:52 am

    I think Ken and tl are missing the point. The GOP does not care if Hick or other Dems get elected as they are one in the same. Screw Rosen and his two party fantasy.

  • Ken Davenport
    Comment from: Ken Davenport
    08/19/10 @ 02:37:33 pm

    I'm an LPR grad and write frequently at Backbone America. I think you are smart, Ross. But your antipathy for the "establishment" in 2008 did us more harm than good. In the real world, not voting for John McCain gave us Barack H. Obama. While you may feel better for having voted your principles, the practical world continued to turn and you (and conservatives like you) have saddled us with an Alinskyite in the White House. Do you honestly think after watching the train wreck of the past 19 months that McCain would have been as bad as Obama? Really? Can you really still stand up to your vote in 2008? I realize the argument now is that Obama has given us the Tea Party, and that over the long run will be more valuable than keeping Obama out of the White House for a single term. But I don't buy it. The damage he, Pelosi and Reid have done just over 2 years is devastating the nation and it's finances. We will never recover from this self-inflicted wound -- and the guy has more than 2 years left in office! I think its important that conservatives live in the real world. And that includes Maes -- who should have taken Tancredo's offer and stepped aside. He can't win -- and those who voted for him against McInnis (as flawed as he is) only are putting Hickenlooper (that left-wing zealot in moderate clothing) into office.

  • Comment from: Rossputin
    08/19/10 @ 02:42:49 pm

    Ken, That's what makes a market! RGK