Less than eight weeks until Colorado's June 28 Republican primary, and the U.S. Senate race promises to be an amazingly fun goat-rope. There may be as many as five candidates on the ballot, including hometown heroes Darryl Glenn and Robert Blaha. None are particularly well-known statewide, so they'll all have the same problem: How do you create a positive image and simultaneously demonize the four no-hopers who have the temerity to oppose you?
Here are some helpful hints, assuming all are certified for the ballot.
For Glenn: Great resumé — Air Force Academy graduate, retired lieutenant colonel, attorney, former Colorado Springs City Councilor, current El Paso County commissioner. Strong conservative, knows how to throw red meat to the base, suggesting to ecstatic crowds at the county and state assemblies that Hillary Clinton's pantsuit needs to be replaced with a (prison) jumpsuit.
Against: Never selected for a leadership position by his peers on City Council or commissioners. Whines and complains, accomplishes nothing. Asleep at the wheel while Sheriff Terry Maketa ran amok. Career politician looking for a fat salary. Not electable!
For Blaha: Intelligent, articulate multimillionaire businessman. A true outsider who brings business savvy — knows how to unleash the private sector and create jobs. Sen. Michael Bennet's worst nightmare!
Against: Smooth-talking multimillionaire self-funded vanity candidate who creates jobs for pollsters, political fixers and petition signature-gatherers. Two years ago he blew a million bucks running against Rep. Doug Lamborn, and lost. He's apparently ready to blow another couple of million, and for what? Does he just want to go to fancy parties in D.C.?
For Jon Keyser: He can win! At least, that's what the national GOP establishment thought a few months ago. He's young, telegenic, an Afghanistan/Iraq war veteran and a former state legislator. He could trounce Bennet, that mushy-mouthed Washington liberal. He's JFK without Marilyn Monroe hiding in the closet.
Against: Empty-headed nothingburger who personifies Will Rogers' famous dictum: "It ain't what he knows that worries me, but what he thinks he knows that ain't so." Do we want the GOP's boy wonder, or a down-home, thoughtful, experienced person like (insert your name)?
For Jack Graham: According to his website, the businessman/former Colorado State quarterback/CSU athletic director gets things done. He entered the race in February and immediately loaned his campaign $1 million. He spearheaded the successful campaign to build a new CSU stadium.
Against: He was a Democrat until last year because he was "just too busy" to change his registration. Not exactly a committed conservative, is he?
For Ryan Frazier: Elected to Aurora City Council at age 26, Frazier served from 2003-2011. The charismatic Frazier was urged to run against Bennet in 2010 but passed. He ran against U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter instead and lost. He understands the issues, as this April 25 tweet shows: "Secure the borders. Stop terrorist [sic] where they're at."
Against: Oh come on, you again? You're an ex-boy wonder, the 2003 flavor of the year. You're a nice guy with a lovely family, and it's time to drop your dreams of senatorial glory and rejoin the reality-based community.
One of the five will get to run against incumbent Bennet, whose campaign war chest is somewhere north of $7 million and increasing daily. It'll be a tough slog for the exhausted primary winner, who will emerge from the pack with partisan baggage and no money in the bank.
Bennet's resumé eclipses those of the five GOPsters combined. He worked for Phil Anschutz, served then-Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper as chief of staff and served a stint as superintendent of the Denver Public Schools. He's been a competent, energetic senator, one who works well with Republicans and Democrats alike.
At this writing, it looks as if the GOP ticket will be headed by Donald "Death Star" Trump or Ted "The Fix Is In" Cruz. That's not good news, as the song doesn't go: "Where have you gone, Marco Rubio?/Our party turns its lonely eyes to you." The demise of the GOP's coalition of the reasonable eerily resembles another breakup. We once said goodbye to John, Paul, George and Ringo — and now to John (Kasich), Paul (Ryan), Jeb (Bush) and Marco.
So ave atque vale as well to our five senatorial hopefuls — and good on you for taking your shot.