March 22, 2007

McInnis: Other Viable Candidates Must Unify GOP

Scott McInnis throws out a few more names to add to the list of potential GOP candidates:
There might be other viable candidates, McInnis said.

“If the party can’t unify, they can’t win a statewide race, but if they can unify, they’ll be able to recruit people like Russell George or Rebecca Love Kourlis,” McInnis said.
Both of them would start out with almost zero name recognition, like many of the other potential second tier candidates whose names have been tossed about. McInnis, however, points out the obvious--the GOP's candidate should unify the party, energize the base, draw out the fundraisers, and pump up the volunteers. Even a unanimous candidate will fail if the campaign they run isn't anything short of vigorous, bold, and effective.

Was McInnis pushed out? Unlikely--there might have been pressure to defer to another candidate like Bob Schaffer, but at this point it seems McInnis probably felt he did not have the drive for both a potentially bruising primary (almost inevitable, despite his attempts to avoid one), and an equally tough general election. Hogan & Hartson will provide a rather cozy "fallback", and this is perhaps the most compelling reason McInnis withdrew his candidacy so early.

Democrats believe McInnis was too "moderate" for Colorado's GOP:
State Democratic Party chairwoman Pat Waak said McInnis' decision to withdraw "may give a signal that Colorado Republicans are not interested in moderate candidates."

She said McInnis has a history of voting against a gay marriage ban.

"If that is the reasoning behind his announcement, it is sad that the Republican Party still doesn't understand that the state, and the country, is looking for solutions, not ideologies," Waak said.
In reality, it looks like the Democrats are simply rolling out their campaign tactic of characterizing any of the GOP's potential candidates as "too conservative", and will likely try to push the meme that the "moderate" McInnis was pushed out in favor of more "right-wing" candidates.

If Colorado looks for "moderate" candidates, with Sen. Ken Salazar and Gov. Bill Ritter representing the most "centrist" of Democratic candidates, then what are they doing championing "latte liberal" Rep. Mark Udall (D-People's Republic of Boulder)? Udall's Club for Growth ranking (10%) was the lowest in the state--topping even liberal Rep. Diana DeGette.

(cross posted from Political Avalanche)


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