Secretary of State Gessler may have wolverine attitude Republicans need
Chemistry and politics share a common element; in most cases it takes a catalyst of some sort to get a reaction. In chemistry it’s often a small but important addition to a concoction that makes it react. In politics it’s usually an individual, although sometimes it can be an idea and ideally the right individual with a good idea.
In order to be successful, especially in off-year elections when there’s not a national office in play, the winning party usually must field a candidate who’s going to get people excited and to the polls. He is the catalyst that causes them to vote.
It’s not always easy to find such a candidate. Writer and failed Pitkin County Sheriff’s candidate Hunter S Thompson once referred to Vice President Hubert Humphrey on the campaign trail for the presidency as having the demeanor of “an electrified corpse.”
If you wonder what that looks like today, former Vice President Al Gore is often interviewed on television.
Humphrey was beaten by Richard Nixon for predominantly two reasons: Nixon was not Hubert Horatio Humphrey and a lot of Yippies (That’s no typo, many of them called themselves Yippies.) managed to get themselves beat up by the police in Chicago on national television during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
In 2014, Colorado conservatives will need a compelling candidate and issue to pull them to the polls if they are to be successful on a statewide level.
Locally, former Congressman Scott McInnis will bring some excitement to the commissioner’s race, but statewide office seekers on both sides of the aisle have not been particularly exciting. In fact, I suspect a candidate with Humphrey’s demeanor would probably carry about 53 percent of the statewide vote on charisma alone.
There may be a bit of hope, however, with Secretary of State Scott Gessler confirming his candidacy for governor. He has been referred to as “the honey badger” by some, due to his pugnacious manner in dealing with issues and critics. I say it’s time to take another step up the predator chain and go full wolverine.
That’s right, time for conservatives to go all “Red Dawn” for this election.
There’s no doubt Gessler can generate publicity, some of it good, which is about all you can expect for a conservative Republican candidate.
He has engendered controversy over his stance that the voting process ought to have some integrity and it would be nice to ensure that only people qualified to vote were doing so.
All you have to do is look to groups attacking him the last couple of years and you know he must be onto something. When you have the losing sides of the recent recall elections in Colorado Springs and Pueblo referring to their losses as the result of voter suppression because not everybody with a stamp and access to a mailbox was allowed to send in a vote, you know he has at least one issue that sounds interesting.
There are other Republican candidates entering the race for governor and some good people at that, but not as dynamic as this race demands.
They’re in the race because it’s probably a good time to challenge Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who has had some missteps the last few months.
The one probably most surprising to him involves his kind of, sort of, decision on the death penalty and Chucky Cheese restaurant murderer, Nathan Dunlap.
The governor chose to curry some favor with the far left by fooling around with Dunlap’s death sentence, which incidentally, Dunlap deeply deserves.
Seemingly not having the intestinal fortitude to just commute his sentence from the death penalty to life, the governor chose instead to put some sort of indefinite stay on his execution. This was nothing but a transparent ploy to allow him to act as though he might favor the death penalty in some sort of hazy circumstances, while winking at the far left that he wasn’t going to let it happen.
This created a firestorm of problems for the governor, who, I can only suppose, was listening to the media about the “unpopularity” of the death penalty. This is not true in general and really not true in Dunlap’s case.
A wolverine might just be what we need to take these issues to the voters.
Rick Wagner writes more on politics at his blog, The War on Wrong.