Crazy Colorado election exchanges feed Hotline’s annual quote list

It will come as no surprise to local politics watchers that National Journal Hotline writers Wednesday turned up quotes from Colorado’s wacky midterm election campaigns to complete a list of the top political quotes of the year. U.S. Senate candidates Michael Bennet, Ken Buck and Andrew Romanoff made the list. So did gubernatorial candidates Dan Maes and Tom Tancredo. Of course they did!

In chronological order, here are the Colorado contributions to the list of well more than a hundred entries:

1. “A geologist plays well on the Western Slope.” — Interior Sec. Ken Salazar, on Denver Mayor/ex-geologist John Hickenlooper’s (D) strengths as a GOV candidate, Denver Post, 1/8.

Denver Mayor “Lucky John” Hickenlooper sailed to victory in a comic three-way race that was nightly entertainment for the nation and a catastrophe for the state GOP.

2. “Those minority folks were absolutely at the rally. We were just simply moving around random people for aesthetic reasons.” — Spokesman Roy Teicher, on ex-CO Speaker Andrew Romanoff’s (D) camp “digitally altering” their website’s banner photo, Denver Post, 4/15.

Teicher was one of the roughly 800 spokespeople who rotated through the rudderless Romanoff campaign. He was the one who plotted the camp’s careering course during “photoshop-gate.”

3. “The only time I’m reminded of Washington is when you and I are debating.” — Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), responding during a debate to ex-state Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D), Denver Post, 4/25.

Because Bennet hates DC and has said as much to major outlets– knowingly and unknowingly— this was a major cut from the mumbling master of surprise eloquence.

4. “She was smart, she hung out in the library and I didn’t.” — CO SEN candidate Ken Buck (R), who knew SG Elena Kagan at Princeton, but still isn’t supporting her for SCOTUS, Denver Post, 6/28.

In the ears of a lot of voters, this was the nicest thing Buck said about a woman in the two years he spent on the stump.

5. “So I suppose next week they’ll take another poll and ask, would you be less likely to vote for Andrew Romanoff if you found he was biting the heads off of squirrels?” — CO SEN’s Andrew Romanoff (D), on push polls, Colorado Statesman, 7/30).

Romanoff is witty and he was right. It was ugly.

6. “Tonight is a celebration, but there is an 800-pound gorilla in the room we must address. Mr. Tancredo, stop your campaign tonight!” — CO GOP GOV nominee Dan Maes, Denver Post, 8/11

Dan Maes may not be witty– at least not intentionally– but he’s always entertaining.

7. “Somebody should talk to Dan, because I think he’s the third-party candidate now” — Ex-Rep. Tom Tancredo, on Dan Maes, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, 8/12

In Tea Party-crazy Colorado, the Republican Party was always the third party. Political novice Maes, openly detested by state GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams, ended up a kind of third party candidate of the third-party GOP.

8. “Friends who stand by you are hard to find in the last two weeks of a political campaign” — Ken Buck spokesman Walt Klein, Denver Post, 10/20

A longtime Colorado GOP campaign journeyman, Walt Klein knows what he’s talking about.

** Honorary Colorado prize goes to California Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina. The clumsy way she wooed Latino voters there suggests she was taking lessons from the Colorado GOP, which is dominated by the anti-illegal immigration rhetoric voiced by Tancredo and his imitators.

“I think every speech should begin with a shot of tequila” — CA SEN candidate Carly Fiorina, to a group of Latino business leaders, Los Angeles Times, 10/9

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