This year’s Democratic primary in Colorado features former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff challenging incumbent Senator Michael Bennet. By all accounts, Romanoff is running to Bennet’s left, and is campaigning rather aggressively as a progressive.
Bennet hasn’t been a stellar liberal in the Senate. He voted against cramdown and is very pro-corporations. Earlier this year he attempted to get some attention through a renewed push for the public option, but ultimately his effort fizzled out without so much as a peep of apology.
Romanoff, on the other hand, has been blasting Bennet’s ties to corporations and touting his own freedom from corporate contributions. He’s been using liberal, populist, anti-corporate rhetoric (going so far as to admit that Democrats are spineless) and, surprisingly for a Senate candidate, has staked out positions in favor of public sector infrastructure jobs and Medicare for All.
Now, I’m fully aware that Romanoff was closely associated with the centrist DLC when he was Speaker. It’s very possible that his new-found progressive noises are nothing more than political expediency. (David Sirota asked him about that very issue here.) While I’m aware of this, it doesn’t change my thinking on the race, because Romanoff has still campaigned as a liberal, and yes it’s important because it shows the direction that Romanoff wants to go in as a Senator. If he governs as a centrist after campaigning as a fighting liberal, it’s a lot easier to hold him accountable for that than it is to hold Bennet accountable for governing just as he campaigned. (See more of this discussion on Coloradan David Sirota’s Senate-related diaries on Open Left.)
I therefore endorse Andrew Romanoff for the United States Senate from Colorado in 2010.
Andrew Romanoff. Source: Colorado House Democrats via Wikimedia Commons.
Judging from recent polling, the race is volatile and close. One poll a week ago had Romanoff overcoming a double-digit gap to lead Bennet by 3 points; a more recent poll had Bennet up by 6.
SEPTEMBER 11 2010 UPDATE: Another one of my endorsees bites the dust. Bennet beat Romanoff 54.2-45.8.