Musgrave thanks, blesses Coloradans 36 days after thumping CD 4 defeat

The Musgrave Concession Watch is still ticking, but Republican Marilyn Musgrave, the outgoing 4th Congressional District congresswoman, emerged Wednesday to thank “volunteers, staff and voters” who supported her during three terms in Congress in a guest commentary published by The Denver Post. Pondering what might have happened “if I had backed away from protecting the unborn, or traditional marriage, or if I had supported massive government spending increases,” Musgrave concludes she did right by bucking her party once in awhile, or at least sticking by her principles, and vows that voters haven’t heard the last from her.

The Fort Morgan Republican, who garnered national attention for failing to concede the election to Democrat Betsy Markey after a 12-point loss in the traditionally Republican district, made her first public appearance a week ago in an interview aired on Denver’s KUSA-TV, where Musgrave blamed “leftist special interests” for costing her the election because she stood firm against gay marriage.

The interview came days after Musgrave recorded a robocall urging Georgia voters to avoid making the same mistake as Colorado voters had and to send Sen. Saxby Chambliss back to the Senate.

“When I was first elected to public office,” Musgrave writes in her Post commentary, “I recall my son telling me ‘Mom, don’t change.’ I promised him I would not and as I conclude my time in Congress I know I lived up to the promise I made to my son and the people of Colorado.” She says she kept her “core principles” of “limited government, fiscal responsibility, and traditional values” above political concerns throughout her career, sometimes placing her at odds with party bosses.

During her last campaign, Musgrave ran a television ad portraying her opposition to Bush administration policies, even as opponents sought to tie the conservative Republican to the unpopular administration, pounding voters with an image of President Bush kissing Musgrave’s hair.

“Although I will not be in the next Congress to continue my service,” Musgrave writes, “I will continue to work for the same principles I promoted during my time in public office and I will always work to serve my local community, our state, and our nation.” Already a prominent member of Team Sarah — as in Sarah Palin — Musgrave looks to have a role in national politics, sticking to her principles. The head of a nationwide anti-abortion group told The Fort Collins Coloradoan’s Bob Moore last week that Musgrave is “a great voice for the cause of life” and could be a “different model of women’s leadership.” Until recently, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said that national politics has lacked strong, conservative women, with “not too many Palins, not too many Musgraves.”

“God bless,” Musgrave concludes, still not quite conceding the election to Markey in so many words.

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Ernest Luning

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