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Tancredo: Politics as Usual Candidate

September 14, 2010

This week’s Rasmussen poll shows a jump in support for American Constitution Party Candidate Tom Tancredo, following six weeks of steadily declining poll numbers. When he was first polled, Tancredo pulled 24%; he’s now back up to 25%.

The real story is not how he has surged back to where he was at the end of July, it’s the damage that negative campaigning has done to businessman and first-time candidate Dan Maes and the Colorado Republican Party.

How did that happen? Tancredo, the career politician, has been playing politics as usual: devoid of ideas and issues other than immigration reform, his tactic has been to smear his opponent and continue to repeat the lies and exaggerations even after they’ve been disproven. All of Tancredo’s efforts have been aimed at attacking Maes. He’s the Charlie Crist of Colorado, unwilling to accept the judgment of his party’s voters–especially those upstart, grass-roots Tea Party activists–he’s decided to go out on his own.

Meanwhile, Hickenlooper goes about his business pretty much unscathed. In a year when Republicans lead Democrats on a generic ballot by double digits, Tancredo has managed to pull off the Democrat’s dream by splitting the conservative vote. One almost wonders whether he’s being paid to do it.

When you consider the size of Tom’s ego, you pretty much realize that he doesn’t need outside encouragement to run. (I am told that he was financially ruined by Madoff and could use the money, so I wouldn’t rule that completely out.) In Congress, he pledged to abide by informal terms limits, but reneged on that promise and ran again. In 2008, he decided to run for president and failed. In 2009, he wanted to run for governor but then backed out in favor of Scott McInnis.  When it looked as though McInnis would lose the Republican nomination because of the plagiarism scandal, Tancredo demanded both McInnis and Maes resign in his favor. Neither did. After Maes won, he demanded Maes resign; he didn’t. So Tancredo went to the 1500-member American Constitution Party and got their nomination. You see, contrary to his bluster, it isn’t about party or principle: it’s about Tom.

Tancredo is the perennial candidate looking for a race to run in, looking for his next political job. It’s all he knows. In his campaign email of September 9, entitled “Why am I doing this?” he writes:

I never imagined I would be asking you to vote for me for Governor of Colorado but that is exactly what I am doing.

Really, Tom? You ran for president, why not governor? And this:

my candidacy in the Governor’s race isn’t an assault on the Republican Party itself.

No? Asking duly elected candidates to resign, trying to pit the state party chairman against the party and its rules, dividing official’s loyalties between you and the party–this isn’t an assault on the Colorado Republican Party? You’ve left the party for the ACP and you’re trying to drag other party members with you. If that’s not an assault, what is?

It’s an awful situation and one that guarantees Hickenlooper a win and the opportunity to appoint more liberal judges to the Colorado Supreme Court. The legislature, even supposing Republicans win, will be stymied by the Looper’s veto. At the national level, that’s the best we can hope for with Obama still in office but at the Colorado state level we have the chance to get back on the road to recovery instead of continuing down the road to serfdom.

The only person who stands between us and liberty is Tom Tancredo.

  1. cologeek permalink
    September 14, 2010 8:51 pm

    I have to agree that Maes is not the ideal candidate, in fact he could probably be called “The Accidental Candidate”. He was the wrong man at the right place and time. He was able to latch on to the Republican Party’s base dissatisfaction with the way the party higher ups were meddling in the decision process. This allowed him to win at the state assembly, and then take advantage on McInnis unforced errors in the primary.
    But I am also with the posts author in my disdain for Tom Tancredo. He has taken what was a bad situation for Republicans and is working hard to make it a full-fledged disaster. His actions are despicable, he lacked the intestinal fortitude to run against the wishes of the of the party hierarchy, but jumped in when an opening availed itself. He is a self-centered opportunist who cannot be trusted to have the citizens best interest anywhere in his decision making process.

    • September 14, 2010 10:20 pm

      Since you’re using a baseball metaphor, Dan has indeed made a lot of rookie mistakes and has benefited from the errors of McInnis as well. The Liberty activists heeded the December advice of Tancredo and worked within the party system to elect the best candidate on the ballot. Twice. To now say that we ought to throw away the scorecard and support him is totally outside the rulebook.

      But what can you expect from a man who went to court today to argue that state law doesn’t count? Of course, the Ritter-appointed judge agreed.

  2. September 17, 2010 4:22 pm

    I agree. In a year when most states have the opportunity to return to their roots, Colorado conservatives are their worst enemy. I’m concerned about Maes’ alleged lies about his history. I won’t vote for Tancredo after his blatent disregard of state law. Not too many options for a conservative independent who believes ethics matter.

    BTW, I don’t see an email address on your site (I might have just missed it). I have a question for you I don’t want to post, can you send me an email?


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