Michael Bennet and family with veep Joe Biden.
Michael Bennet and family with veep Joe Biden.

Michael Bennet bedeviled by union matters, too

Just as Governor Bill Ritter has undermined his own political future by his handling of various union-related measures, so, too, has Michael Bennet, who Ritter appointed to the U.S. Senate when Ken Salazar moved to President Barack Obama's cabinet, given his reputation as a rising young Democratic party star some serious dents. This morning, Bennet finds himself right where he doesn't want to be -- on the front page of the Denver Post -- due to his continuing refusal to stake out a position in regard to the Employee Free Choice Act. The article's author, Michael Riley, succinctly describes the boomerang effect of his public neutrality on the issue: "Bennet's effort to stay out of a fight has instead put him smack in the middle of one, making him the focus of a massive lobbying effort and requiring an enormous amount of energy on the part of both the lawmaker and his staff to control."

From a political standpoint, Bennet's drawn-out waffling has empowered potential rivals such as Dan Caplis, who spent much of his KHOW afternoon-drive program yesterday crowing about the surprising vulnerability of both Bennet and Ritter. Even more distressing from a Democratic perspective, Caplis is correct. During a time when Dems should be cruising along, Ritter and Bennet have found different but related ways to slow their momentum to a crawl.

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