September 16, 2006

McInnis: Beauprez Let Down By Staff

More fallout from Beauprez's fading numbers, and what happens when a campaign staff puts on the blinders and begins to dwell in denial of the present situation:
A former Republican congressman from Colorado criticized Bob Beauprez's gubernatorial campaign Friday, complaining that its top staffers don't have the skills or experience to run a successful statewide race.

Scott McInnis, who represented Colorado's 3rd congressional district for 12 years until leaving office in 2004, said that Beauprez's sliding poll numbers are a reflection of a campaign staff that's not up to the task, and singled out two officials for failing to get the job done right.

"Running for governor is big league, and big time, and it requires a lot of sophistication," McInnis said. But handing the race over to the people running Beauprez's campaign "is like putting a high school quarterback on the Denver Broncos and having him start the game."

McInnis let loose with his frustrations Friday, the same day a Rocky Mountain News/CBS 4 poll of likely voters showed Democratic candidate Bill Ritter leading U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, a Republican from Arvada, by a surprising 17 points in the governor's contest.

"I guess I wouldn't be so discouraged if we didn't have a great candidate and the odds were stacked against us, but in my opinion this was Beauprez's (race) to lose," McInnis said. "As you can tell by (Friday) morning's newspaper . . . we're losing it. That's tough to take when you have a good candidate."

McInnis said he likes Beauprez's campaign manager John Marshall, and another top advisor, Shari Williams, but said they aren't experienced enough for their roles. "You need a varsity squad for a campaign team, and that team doesn't have it," McInnis said.

Asked if he had any advice for the campaign, McInnis said: "That campaign is not inclined to take any advice from me, they think things are going just cheerily."
Down by 17 points in a race that should be his to lose is not cheery. Nor is confirmation of the double-digit deficit with a poll average from Real Clear Politics. Beauprez hasn't been within a poll margin of error since April, and has been hovering between -7 and -12 points since late July.

The Beauprez campaign should stop offering excuses, misinformation, and relying on big names to give them cover, as Bruce Benson did later in the story:
Beauprez campaign officials didn't return messages Friday, but a top Beauprez supporter and GOP heavyweight, Bruce Benson, called McInnis' criticism unfair.

"Like every campaign (Beauprez's) had growing pains and stumbles. Show me one that hasn't," Benson said. "Scott or anyone else can make all the criticisms they want. I'd ask people to think of their own campaigns" and the mistakes they made.
Continuing to blame Holtzman's primary run over two months after he dropped out of the race is contemptible at this point. By not seizing upon the opening provided by a loss of a primary opponent, he simply made it easier for Bill Ritter and his proponents to take over the "Both Ways Bob" mantra. Instead of reasserting his own identity and downplaying the Holtzman moniker, the Beauprez team allowed it to fester all summer, and made the race about Beauprez and his record, completely removing attention from Ritter.


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