To the surprise of no one, Cory Gardner has had an epiphany that “personhood” — which he has either strongly supported or really, really strongly supported since at least 2008 — is a bad idea, particularly if you’re running for the U.S. Senate.
In the classic Friday afternoon news dump, Gardner told ace reporter Lynn Bartels that, at some undisclosed point, he changed his mind, finally figuring out what everyone had been saying for years — that “personhood” doesn’t allow for certain kinds of oft-used contraception. And now that he’s figured out what he could have figured out if he had bothered to read the amendment or any story written about the amendment, he says he “can’t support that going forward.”
Let’s be honest (we can start with you, Cory), he had no choice here. Gardner knows he had to take his medicine and try to get it out of the way early. This is a non-starter, after all. Twice “personhood” has gone before Colorado voters, and each time it has lost by a 3-to-1 count. Gardner says the people have spoken, but, by my count, they spoke about four years ago – and Gardner didn’t say anything about it until he entered the Senate race against Mark Udall.
Because, Gardner says, he’s willing to listen – presumably to his campaign people. At other points in his life, he happily, and publicly, passed out petitions for “personhood” at his church, just to show how fundamental this principle was for him.
He’ll be asked about the timeline. Because, as the Udall campaign points out, it’s hard to pin down the exact moment of Gardner’s change of heart. For the last two years in the House, Gardner was a co-sponsor of the Life Begins at Conception Act, which is pretty much the federal version of “personhood,” because it says, well, that life begins at conception, which, it seems to me, is the whole point of “personhood.”
Here’s an educated guess: We can figure that the very moment Gardner conceived of entering the Senate race was also the very moment the idea of dumping “personhood” was born.