View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Not So Fast 

While I certainly agree with Ben and Clay that Schaffer will make a tough candidate, probably better than people realize, I'm not as quick as Ben to count out Gale Norton. Cheney was in town last night for a fundraiser for Bob Beauprez, and didn't mention Schaffer by name. This could have been him staying out of internal state politics publicly, or it could have been that the White House is still pressuring Norton to run. Schaffer was reportedly unhappy with the administration's handling of the No Child Left Behind Act, essentially turning it over to Ted Kennedy and courting the unwinnable teachers' unions. Or they may really believe that Norton will be a better candidate or a more reliable senator. Or there may be no significance at all to all this tea-leaf reading.

Personally, I'm not so sure Norton would be a stronger candidate. Being a woman isn't going to get her the endorsement of the Diane Carmens of the world, no matter how much they fume that only men were being considered. Also, in Colorado, the environment is probably the only issue where being liberal helps, and Norton is associated with a Republican administration. No matter the administration's merits, no matter their insistence on actual science to make rules, no matter what they do to immunize themselves on that issue, the enviro lobby has the ears of many voters out here, and will oppose a Republican Interior Secretary.

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