Norton vs Bennet: Dueling YouTubes preview coming attractions

Executive Director of the Denver Police Foundation Jane Norton announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate yesterday. If Norton makes it through what is shaping up to be a rough-and-tumble GOP primary, she will look to unseat appointed Democratic Senator Michael Bennet, who also may or may not be facing a primary challenge beginning sometime today. Bennet’s maybe-yes-maybe-no challenger, former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, is set to officially announce his candidacy today.

In other words, the race has been grand political theater already, even though the two main characters so far this week, Norton and Bennet, appear to share a distinctly non-grand, non-theatrical public communication style. Tapes after the jump.

Norton released this launch video yesterday, complete with every predictable GOP / tea party line conjured since Obama took office. There is also an over-long floating Ronald Reagan still-photo appearance, which translates as bizarre and comic, like something inserted to underline the hagiography of recent GOP politicians who pretend as though there have been no GOP officeholders in America since the Gipper retired to the ranch. Norton seems as bored with the ad as you will be and not very enthused about actually doing the work of a lawmaker either. 

And then there is Bennet. He is no firebrand. He is a bureaucrat-turned-legislator. He is no charismatic auditorium-packer. He is vulnerable on the campaign trail. And yet, something genuine seems to animate him. True, it’s not a fair comparison, these videos, Bennet’s being an actual speech and one that’s about something substantive. But he’s the incumbent and that’s one of the many advantages to incumbency: You get to post YouTubes of yourself doing the job you’re asking voters to have faith you can do!


What is the true tale of the dueling videos? The Web best serves up rough-hewn unscripted-seeming video product. Also: Don’t count out treeshaker candidate Ken Buck, Weld County District Attorney.

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