And now, as expected, the governor’s race gets even curiouser. Erick Erickson of RedState writes a column saying Bob Beauprez — the man who lost to Bill Ritter in 2006 by a startling 17 points — should jump into the governor’s race. And that Tom Tancredo — the man who lost to John Hickenlooper by a not-at-all-startling 15 points in 2010 — should jump out.
Meanwhile ace reporter Lynn Bartels reports that Tancredo has called Beauprez to invite him to join the race, leading to speculation that Tancredo, who never follows the script, just might this time.
It’s not clear why anyone would be pushing for Beauprez, whose defeat in 2006 was the starting point for all the Republican defeats in Colorado since. For those of us who were there, we remember that his 2006 campaign was, to put it as nicely as possible, a disaster. Let’s just say there were a few more problems than positioning himself on the wrong side of a horse.
On the other hand, there are any number of reasons why Tancredo might drop out. To begin with, there’s the matter of whether he actually wants to be governor. Although Tancredo enjoys running for the job, he has not, over two campaigns, put together anything resembling a credible platform. Instead of working on policy, or participating in debates, he spends his time writing op-eds for sketchy right-wing web sites about impeaching the president.
And then comes the hard work of actually getting on the ballot. In 2010, Tancredo skipped the hard stuff by running on the American Constitution Party ticket. Tancredo is back to being a Republican this time, meaning he has to either draw at least 30 percent of the votes at the GOP convention — and Tancredo is hardly popular with the Republican establishment – or petition his way onto the ballot.
It would be much easier for Tancredo to try for a whole new look — as the party wise man who unites the party. OK, just kidding. Wise man … smart aleck? Can you spot the difference?
If Beauprez does get in, that would be bad news for Mike Kopp, who wants to be the conservative candidate with the moderate face. If Tancredo drops out, that would probably help Greg Brophy, who would presumably get some of the Ted Nugent, all-guns-are-good-all-the-time vote. I don’t know what either would mean for Scott Gessler, who may rejoin the debate team (the next debate is Sunday on Fox 31) after being spanked by the Colorado Springs Gazette editorial board. Tancredo is still not debating. His excuse — of not providing fodder for Democrats — seems more absurd by the day, but that’s Tancredo.
And Beauprez? He’s part of the team trying to bring the 2016 Republican convention to Denver — a columnist’s dream, by the way — and, if it happens, could presumably present himself as a winner, kind of. He might even make us forget his start of the 2014 campaign when he told Eli Stokols that he’s considering running for either senator or governor, a strange, strange, ambition-first thing to actually admit to — and to leave himself open for a smart-aleck columnist to re-name him Both Jobs Bob.
He seems to have narrowed his ambitions to simply the governor’s race for now, but Beauprez is hardly a sure thing. And if Tancredo doesn’t drop out, is there really room for Beauprez in an already crowded field? A better question, though, is what does it say about the state of a party that would see Beauprez as a candidate upgrade?