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Obama Backs Bennet in Colorado Senate Primary
Posted By jwilkes - Saturday, September 19th, 2009 at 11:46 AM
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If it was a big deal for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to pick up a former president's endorsement in his primary race for Governor of California, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet might have gotten the only bigger fish in the pond in his own race for reelection in 2010.

Bennet, the Democrat appointed to replace former Senator Ken Salazar when the latter was appointed to serve as Interior Secretary in the new administration, picked up the backing of President Barack Obama on Friday.

Said Obama, "Michael has had my full support from day one, and I look forward to working with him in the Senate for years to come....Families in Colorado and across America need him in the United States Senate to help us revitalize our economy, improve our public schools and pass health-insurance reform."

The endorsement is a blow to the fledgling Senate primary challenge of Andrew Romanoff, the former Democratic Speaker of the Colorado Assembly.  Romanoff had been flirting with a bid against Bennet for the right to serve out the remainder of Salazar's term, but only officially announced his candidacy on Thursday.  Romanoff said in a prepared statement, "While I fully support and respect the president, this decision will rest — as it should — with the voters of Colorado."

The backing of the sitting president will likely swing party insiders in Bennet's direction.  Prior to his appointment to the Senate, Bennet had served as Superintendent of Denver Public School, and had never held elected office.  Though as a former Clinton administration aide and early Obama backer, was familiar with the local and national political scenes, some in Colorado feared that Bennet's inexperience on the campaign trail might squander ground Democrats struggled hard to gain in the Rocky Mountain State.  But the President's backing is likely to result in a solid bounce in opinion polls for the interim Senator.



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Discussion:
[-] source? - Guest-adamB498
The backing of the sitting president will likely swing party insiders in Bennet's direction.
[ Posted at 3:28 PM on 9/22/09 | Reply ]
[-] Is it normal - Guest-PalmG
for a sitting president to involve himself so much in lower-level political affairs?

I don't like it, especially in a primary. I think there should be separation of the different sections.

I don't think he should have opened his mouth about Paterson, Specter, this guy, or anyone else. I just don't.
[ Posted at 3:33 PM on 9/22/09 | Reply ]
Usually presidents do not get involved in primaries because they wind up going against people in their own party.

I'm not sure this is change I can believe in, but Obama does have his own way of doing things. I am a bit surprised he's been so open about getting involved in races this early. I'm with Markos in believing that primaries are good. I would prefer the president stay out of state politics.
[ Posted at 3:39 PM on 9/22/09 | Reply ]
ever came out against anyone whose votes he needs to pass legislation (this includes Arlen Sphincter). That would just be sort of dumb. The relative tepidness (see Lieberman) is about all he can really say.
[ Posted at 3:51 PM on 9/22/09 | Reply ]
But the campaign energy that Obama brought to Colorado. People are organized. There are phone lists. Lots of people with recent experience canvassing. Hopefully the Bennet campaign will be able to tap into some of that.
[ Posted at 4:36 PM on 9/22/09 | Reply ]
Bennet until after Ritter appointed him. As for Obama, I want my money back. He has been a big disappointment that only a robust push for a public option will salvage for me.

When he appointed Emanuel, it seemed to me that after winning the battle against Hillary, he decided he would be the figurehead and let her run the administration. It's hard to win when you stack the deck against yourself.

I hope I'm wrong but I don't have a lot of confidence that Obama will do what he promised. I'm glad that Romanoff threw his hat in the ring; I only hope that we can primary Ritter.
[ Posted at 4:01 AM on 9/23/09 | Reply ]

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