In the wake of his caucus loss to longtime state lawmaker Andrew Romanoff, appointed first-term Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet released a TV ad. The Bennet campaign is saying that to “many fellow Coloradans” unfamiliar with the Senator, the ad will be “a first introduction.”
Bennet pulled down more than 40 percent of the votes cast last night, which his campaign is unsurprisingly advertising as a win.
This is a huge victory for us. Competing against a political network built over nearly two decades is never easy, but not only did our opponent not do as well as expected, the caucuses gave us the opportunity to build a grassroots base that will help carry us to victory in both the primary and general elections.
Former House Speaker Romanoff, meantime, is selling his 52 percent take in the caucus as an outsider victory against “pay to play” politics.
“The special interests have enough politicians on their payroll… We need a senator for the rest of us,” he said at a Wednesday morning press conference.
“Last night, the people of Colorado finally, finally got their first chance to weigh in on this race. And despite an avalanche of corporate cash, despite hundreds of thousands of glossy brochures and out-of-state robocalls, despite the most elaborate efforts of a national political machine, we won. Main Street won. Wall Street lost. That is a message that Washington needs to hear.”
It’s a message sure to resonate with swelling ranks of anti-establishment angry voters this year, but Romanoff’s rhetorical tying of rookie lawmaker Bennet to “Wall Street” and “pay to play” may also seem over the top to Democratic voters yet to be presented with any evidence of Bennet catering in his senatorial work to fat cats. Indeed, on the issues– health care, immigration, clean energy, the stimulus package– Bennet has taken virtually the same stands Romanoff has suggested he would take if he were in Bennet’s place.