Heart and Honor

I’m slowly getting used to living a normal life again. I’ve been relaxing these last few days, running errands and getting the place ready for the future Mrs. Arkhangel to come over from Boston.

Along those lines, I stopped by local Democratic HQ to check on my voter registration, and get information on the local candidates. We’re having our caucuses April 13, and this year we have a great shot at recapturing Gary Hart’s old Senate seat, since the incumbent, turncoat Ben Nighthorse Campbell, decided to quit.

For a long time–in fact, for over two years–Mike Miles, who hails from my neck of the woods (Colorado Springs)–has been the leading contender for the Democratic nomination. For over two years, Mike has been tirelessly working the state, from north to south and east to west, seeking to win the nomination, and then defeat Campbell in the general election.

And then, Campbell decided to retire–and all holy heck broke loose.

First, Chris Gates, the state Democratic chairman, cajoled millionaire Rutt Bridges to enter the race. Bridges main qualification–shared with many members of the world’s most exclusive club–was the fact that he had millions of dollars to his name, courtesy of some shrewd business dealings.

Aside from that, his committment to the Party seemed, shall we say, rather shallow–during his brief campaign, he sought to appeal to independents and Republicans…forgetting that it was a Democratic caucus and primary process.

But his campaign was brief…a mere flash, because when Campbell dropped out, everyone seemed to enter the fray. First, Mark Udall announced his bid. Then Bridges considered withdrawing. Then Ken Salazar, the state attorney general and presumptive candidate for governor in 2006, signalled he was interested in the race. Then Salazar jumped in, Udall and Bridges dropped out (along with some fringe candidates), and the stage was set for Salazar’s coronation.

Except everyone forgot about Mike Miles.

And he’s still running, despite the odds. Miles has said that if he draws 30% or more of the caucus vote, he will run in the primary against Salazar.*But in order to garner that stake of the vote, he needs for his supporters to show up.

Well, I, for one, will.

Nothing against Salazar. I think that either man will make a fine Senator. But I believe that Salazar will make an even better Governor. Should he win the nomination, he will be a heavy favorite against GOP candidate (and presumptive nominee) Bob Schaefer, as will Miles (though by not such a large margin).

However, Mike Miles has been running for the last two years. Those were two years when Ken Salazar could have been running, or indicating his intentions to run.

And up until the moment when the race became far easier to run, Salazar chose to do neither.

I’m sorry, but I can’t reward that with my vote. So I’m supporting Mike Miles April 13–and if you’re a Colorado Democrat, I urge you to do the same. If you’re aren’t aware of Miles’ backstory, go to his website. It’s truly remarkable–Army Ranger, distinguised diplomat, and savvy educator–truly a mix that we could use more of in these troubled times.
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I don’t have too much to say about Condoleeza Rice’s decision to testify in public. I’ll write more about this later, but in short, I don’t think her testimony will be very explosive (save for some testy questioning), because the 9/11 Commission won’t be able to call any other staffers or advisors who will be able to confirm her version of events.

So the strife between her and Clarke will–for now, anyway–be a “he said, she said” affair.

That being said. I’ll watch it.

*Colorado has a combination caucus & primary system. Basically, the caucus decides who will have the Party endorsement, while the primary chooses the actual nominee. Since Salazar jumped into the Senate race late, he can’t participate in the caucuses. So he goes straight to the primary.

Miles can win the Party endorsement, but he still has to face Salazar in the Primary, which won’t be until September.

So this tale probably has a few more twists–we’ll see. For now, if you’re in Colorado for the caucuses April 13, and you’re a registered Democrat, please vote for Mike–he deserves your vote.

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