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Long story short 

When we decided an unexpectedly long interview with U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet could turn into our cover story this week, we figured finding a good photo of him would be a snap.

Surely his campaign staff would have a portrait they could share. (OK, they had some good stuff, but only the mini-versions used on their Web site.) Or maybe his press staff would help. (They tried, but we couldn't see using a shot of him standing in a middle school classroom.)

So we turned to local caricaturist Fred Eyer to illustrate what we lacked a photo to show — that Bennet's elevation to the Senate is at once improbable, unconventional and strangely fitting.

Many people, of course, still have no idea who Bennet is. He made a name for himself in education during his time as superintendent of Denver Public Schools, but political junkies near and far were shocked when he was selected to fill the Senate seat left open when Ken Salazar became head of the Interior Department. Democrats feared, and Republicans predicted, that the political newcomer would not be able to hold the seat.

Yet in less than four months, Bennet has started changing some minds. In this week's cover story, we explain how substance and spontaneity have turned a baby-faced East Coast transplant into a powerhouse Coloradan.

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