Romanoff continues to be snubbed by his own party

It’s not easy being Andrew Romanoff. First you get term- limited from your safe district in the Colorado Legislature, then your own party’s governor passes you up for three straight government appointments, the most important to the United States Senate. Romanoff must’ve been so certain he would get that he and his mom were probably in D.C. looking at apartments and shopping for furniture at IKEA.

But it was not to be. Ditto Colorado secretary of state. Even a possible lieutenant governor bid was not warmly received by Gov. Bill Ritter. So, with the loathsome possibility of private-sector employment looming before him, Romanoff decided to run in a Senate primary against the governor’s appointee.

The problem was what tactic to use? Michael Bennet, the appointed senator, was already toeing the party line so fervently that when Sen. Charles Schumer walked into the room and said jump, Sen. Bennet got a bruise on the top of his head. The only thing that seemed open was to run to the left on the issues — not easy since today’s liberal wing of the Democratic Party platform already has more in common with Cuba than Colorado.

But run to the left Romanoff did, to the point I thought he might start showing up at events in fatigues and wearing a beret — Viva la public option!  Still, he was not getting very much attention or nearly as much money as his opponent.

Now, he finally makes the national news, but only for possibly being offered a few mid-level, confusingly bureaucratic jobs in the Obama administration.

According to e-mails released, they included: Deputy Assistant Administrator for Latin American and Caribbean for USAID; Director, Office of Democracy and Governance for USAID, where the “director supports democracy and good governance programs in all parts of the agency and leads in the development of strategic approaches to democracy support and good governance.” My personal favorite is Director, US Trade and Development Agency, which does not directly finance exports or development, but “seeks to achieve its mission by making small grants to fund feasibility studies, reverse trade missions, conferences, trainings, and other technical assistance programs.” Its budget is $55.2 million.

If you think you understand what these jobs do or why they are considered important to America, please report directly to the State Department, where you’ll be made Assistant Deputy Adjunct Director to the Office of Dingbat Affairs.

The start of this week wasn’t any better, with Ritter telling Associated Press he remembers asking about some jobs in the Obama administration for Romanoff, but “I wouldn’t say they were high-level conversations.”

Wow, that’s a boot in the pants to your self-importance. It came just after one of the leading liberal commentators at The Washington Post, Dana Milbank, wrote a column remembering that as editor of the college newspaper where he and Romanoff worked, Romanoff seemed more interested in internal fighting than getting out a newspaper. Romanoff has denied that claim.

It seems national Democrats prefer to go to the November party with their original date and all the hard left sweeps that the Romanoff campaign tries to run may only land him out of bounds.

In Colorado, party leaders whom Romanoff worked with in the Legislature turned out votes for him at the state convention, but his poll numbers are a mixed bag.

He seems to run better against Republican Jane Norton than Bennet, but worse against the other Republican, Ken Buck. (Rasmussen Polling June 8). Not enough difference to make the national party want to swap horses and Romanoff has no tea party to help him “fight the power.”

All in all, Romanoff might not want to throw out those job applications quite yet.

Rick Wagner offers more thoughts on politics at his blog, The War on Wrong.


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