Schaffer and Udall: Perception and Reality

re "Senate race a different story from four years ago" (Boulder Daily Camera, 2/17/08) To the Editor: While there’s no doubt that 2008 will be a difficult year for Republicans, Bob Schaffer has a big factor in his favor: He’s the better and smarter candidate, and the more you know him the more you like him. The same can’t be said for Udall, who isn’t a bad guy but who doesn’t impress you more over time. Udall’s legislative career is largely environmental and the rest of his record is indeed that of a “Boulder liberal”. His public statements give no reason for anyone’s view of him to change. It’s clear that should Udall win election, he would simply continue to be an environmentalist Boulder liberal, just in a different office. Schaffer, on the other hand, has a different challenge. He has been painted by liberals (Boulder and otherwise) and by the mainstream media as a conservative extremist. As someone who has spoken with Schaffer many times, it is clear that he considers his (and others’) religious views to be personal, generally not the province of government, and certainly not its (or his) primary focus. He may vote with social conservatives on occasion, but he won’t be leading them. Schaffer is far more interested in sound economic and foreign policy, and far more capable of understanding and delivering them than Mark Udall. Those who compare Schaffer to religious zealots like Mike Huckabee simply don’t know Bob Schaffer. Unlike Huckabee, Schaffer has a deep understanding of our constitution and what really drives free-market economies. If he is able to reach enough voters to overcome his unfair portrayal by the media, Schaffer should have strong appeal to independents and to people (like me) who support good government but are not social conservatives. Schaffer’s biggest electoral problem is that many voters don’t have the true picture of him. Udall’s problem is that we do.
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