Here now is Sean Paige, editorial page editor of the conservative Colorado Springs Gazette, former personal aide to John Sununu, press secretary for Alan Keyes and Washington Times staffer, “congratulating,” as only he can, Denver landing the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

Paige’s Sunday Gazette editorial, the official position of the newspaper, starts out innocently enough. But then it disintegrates rapidly with odd references to the the “lunatic left,” visions of Party “backfiring” – and some new breed of people called “Denveronians.”

“Whether holding a convention in Denver will solidify the party’s gains in the Rocky Mountain West is uncertain. No doubt, it will help raise the national profiles of Mayor John Hickenlooper, Gov. Bill Ritter and Sen. Ken Salazar.

“But we’ve yet to meet a voter who changed party affiliations, or their ideological stripes, because the Republicans or Democrats threw a big party in their state. And it might actually backfire.

“Western Democrats have worked hard to strike a more moderate pose than their very liberal counterparts in other parts of the country, and they may not want to remind Westerners of the party’s still-strong ties to the lunatic left – ties that always are on full display at a presidential convention.

“Whether the convention will prove an economic shot in the arm for the region, or a financial drain, is another open question. Perhaps he was just putting a brave face on having lost the event to Denver, but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg almost seemed relieved by the news. “We are disappointed,” Bloomberg said, “but as I had pointed out a number of times, these conventions have gotten very expensive.”
“Whether or not it’s a money-maker, it’s an exciting development nonetheless – an opportunity to showcase a state and region which we who live here are proud of. We congratulate Denveronians for making it happen.”

Cara DeGette is a longtime editor and columnist at the Colorado Springs Independent, and a native Denverite.

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