Karl Rove has spent much of the last week in Colorado: stumping for candidates, pontificating in Aspen -- "Moscow in the Colorado Rockies" -- and addressing the Colorado Committee for Heritage last night, where, in assessing the current campaign season for the conservative crowd, he called this state's gubernatorial race "one of the weirdest things."
After all, when he was President George Bush's chief advisor, Rove told then-Congressman Tom Tancredo never to darken the door of the White House again. There's no love lost between Rove and the American Constitution Party candidate now polling an amazing 34 percent. And so, rather than offer a lengthier analysis of the gubernatorial race -- as he had for the U.S. Senate seat which, not surprisingly, Rove thinks will go to Ken Buck (his 527, American Crossroads, is pouring in money to fight Michael Bennet) -- he simply asked the audience this:
"What the heck were you thinking?"
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But Rove should have some idea of what Colorado's thinking. The architect of the Republican Party's rise decades ago, he was back in the city of his birth. Rove was born in the same Army hospital as John Kerry, spent his early years in Kokomo, an old mining town outside of Leadville that's now buried under tailings, and honed his political chops in high school in Arvada. You can read all about it -- or at least some of it -- in his book Courage and Consequence.
"I've got to tell you, it's a damn good read," he said. "Thank god for editors."
Rove was in town to plug that book as well as speak to the state offshoot of the Heritage Foundation -- which, like Rove, got its start here in Colorado, back in 1972, when Joe Coors poured big bucks into creating a new kind of think tank.
We know what he was thinking.