It’s primary week and finally there’s some news.
First, and most critically, we have our first-ever shakeup at the top of the Littwin Weekly GOP Governor’s Race Rankings. As LeBron James so ably put it, history is made to be broken.
Second, John Hickenlooper apologized to a meeting of state sheriffs for hurting their feelings on guns, which came out sounding like he was apologizing for passing the gun laws. Worse (for Hick), he told the sheriffs he never talked to then-Mayor Bloomberg when, in fact, he had and, in fact, had said he had and, in fact, of course he had. Hick spokesman Eric Brown explained the hiccup by (in the short version) saying that Hick often says stupid things, particularly when trying to suck up to his opponents — which brings us to the key question: Since these gun gaffes obviously help the Republicans, which Republican candidate benefits most in the primary?
Third, Tom Tancredo is angry. Not just at Obama this time. He’s angry that a liberal 527 aired an ad trying to push Republicans to vote for him. It was, as I mentioned last week, sleazy. But it’s not as sleazy as this: An attack ad against Tancredo, saying he supported not just the legalization of pot (which he does), but also the legalization of all drugs (which he definitely does not). It turns out the radio ad was bought by a group whose sole contributors are (according to ace reporter Lynn Bartels) former Sen. Bill Armstrong (a Mike Kopp supporter) and former ambassador, Marilyn Ware.
How does all this affect the rankings? Read on (last week’s rankings in parentheses):
1 (2) Bob Beauprez. Is he really leading? Do Republicans really want to nominate the guy who lost by 17 points to Bill Ritter? Well, Tom Tancredo says Beauprez leads him by a point in the latest polling. Of course, that’s well within the margin of error and no different in reality from the last poll, which showed Tancredo up 2 points. But if Tancredo says he’s trailing, who am I to disagree? Beauprez is hitting Hick hard on the gun thing, which is smart. Meanwhile, Tancredo is hitting Obama hard on the 10th Amendment, which is not so smart.
2. (1) Tancredo. He doesn’t really want to be governor. He wants to start a revolution. And so he says that if he’s elected (he won’t be), he’ll start a 10th Amendment caucus with “like minded” governors who would stand with him to fight Obama. One problem: There are no governors, as far as I can tell, who are “like minded” with Tancredo. Tancredo wants to blame a few ads for his apparent problems. I’d blame Tancredo’s campaigning. Two problems: One, he doesn’t do much of it; two, when he does, he sounds like he’s running for either his old House seat or for Peter Boyles’ talk-radio job.
3. (3) Scott Gessler. If Gessler really finishes third in this group, he has basically finished his political career. He was right when he wrote an op-ed and then ran an ad saying that Tancredo and Beauprez were losers. But what if he loses – and, as the few polls suggest, loses badly — to a couple of washed-up losers? I guess he can go back to election law, get a big raise and still claim as clients the same people he did as secretary of state.
4. (4) It’s getting a little desperate in the Littwin cellar. The anti-Tancredo ad was also a pro-Mike Kopp ad, but not so you’d notice. I mean, who’s talking about Kopp? And here’s a better question: Did Armstrong, now president of Colorado Christian University, endorse/pay for the Make Colorado Great Again ad that seems to be based on a huge lie? Tancredo admits he endorsed legalizing pot, but says he has never endorsed legalizing hard drugs. Will Armstrong admit it if he, in fact, played any role in making the claim? If there’s evidence of Tancredo wanting to legalize heroin and PCP, I’d sure love to see it – and (now for the good primary news) time is running out.