Sometimes you have to see your reflection, Colorado, to know what you look like. That was the case in the New York Times Sunday Review when op-ed columnist Frank Bruni reflected on the state of our political landscape.
The piece, titled “The State Where Everyone Wants to be Governor,” is an interesting read for Mile High politiphiles.
Here ‘s how he sized up the race:
Among a half-dozen serious Republican candidates, there’s a nephew of Mitt Romney’s and a second cousin of George W. Bush’s. Among an equal number of plausible Democrats, there’s a gay multimillionaire and two formidable women, one of whom has climbed to all 58 of the peaks in Colorado taller than 14,000 feet.
It’s a free-for-all born of these politically frenetic times. And how Coloradans sift through their choices will have resonance far beyond the Rocky Mountains.
In order, Bruni referred to Doug Robinson, Walker Stapleton, Jared Polis, Cary Kennedy and mountain-climbing Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne.
The most interesting statement in the column did not originate, with Bruni, however, but was a remark from Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, who got in the race in November. In a crowded Republican primary, where unaffiliated voters will be allowed in for the first time this year, Coffman appealed to women voters who were disappointed Hillary Clinton lost. Or maybe she meant Republican Carly Fiorina.
“I think there’s still a great deal of disappointment that we didn’t elect a woman as president, and there are women voters in Colorado who would like the chance to have the first female governor in the state,” she told Bruni.
She also told him, “The #MeToo movement — the discussion of gender and inequality — has enlivened and invigorated them.”
Coffman seems to be counting on that. She still hasn’t said where she stands on abortion.
Bruni rightfully points out that Tom Tancredo has the Republican establishment nervous — and by that they worry he could win the primary and lose the moderates and unaffiliated voters in the General Election.
Bruni seemed to like Democrat Mike Johnston, and that’s not surprising if you read him regularly.
“Johnston has Kennedyesque looks, polished speaking skills, policy fluency and a detailed pitch for what he told me was one of the biggest challenges not just for Coloradans but for all Americans, ” Bruni writes.
It wasn’t Cynthia Coffman’s race that could prove the bellwether for the national mood, however, but that of her ex-husband, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora, in the takeaway of the New York Times’ op-ed.
“And solidly purple Colorado is a fascinating arena to watch,” Bruni writes. “Its delegation in the House of Representatives comprises four Republicans and three Democrats, but one of those Republicans, Mike Coffman, is acutely vulnerable and may in fact be the country’s best test case of whether a nimble G.O.P. incumbent in a swing district can survive an anti-Trump tide. He has been doing a delicate dance around the president: supportive one moment, censorious the next.”
Colorado Politics opined on Crazy Legs Coffman last year.