Colorado is a purple state, but it was looking mighty black and blue two months ago after a pummeling by Donald Trump, who charged that this state’s political system was “crooked” and “rigged” on talk shows and in tweets — the last a form of communication ideally suited to the depth of the candidate’s thought processes.
“The people of Colorado had their vote taken away from them by phony politicians,” Trump tweeted after delegates at the Colorado Republican Party Convention gave all 34 votes to Ted Cruz. “Biggest story in politics.”
He expanded on the theme in an April 14 Wall Street Journal Trumper tantrum of an op-ed. “On Saturday, April 9, Colorado had an ‘election,’ without voters,” Trump wrote. “Delegates were chosen on behalf of a presidential nominee, yet the people of Colorado were not able to cast their ballots to say which nominee they preferred. A planned vote had been cancelled. And one million Republicans in Colorado were sidelined.”
That “planned vote” was the presidential straw poll, which state party leaders canceled last August — back when few thought that Trump would still be in the race by March 1. The move was stupid, but it wasn’t rigged; it was a knee-jerk response to a national policy that made the Colorado caucus system seem even more arcane and obsolete than it already is. Still, to win Colorado’s Republican delegates, a candidate just needed to study the rules — which the Republican national party had handed out to all candidates last fall — and then get out and shake a few hands. Cruz did that, setting up an impressive organization in this state and then giving a rousing speech at the state convention. Trump, who didn’t bother coming to Colorado, won exactly none.
But that was before a surprise vote by Steve House — an unbound delegate who just happens to be the Colorado Republican Party chair (and got threats back in April as thanks for that) — helped push Trump over the delegate count a month ago.
And on Friday, July 1, Republican Party presidential nominee Donald Trump will be in Denver to address the Western Conservative Summit, which had launched a Twitter campaign of its own to get him here.
Let’s give Trump a proper welcome, shall we? Here are six ways to do just that:
6. Have Coloradan Kendal Unruh, founder of Free the Delegates and the woman leading the charge to dump Trump at the convention in Cleveland (even though she’s been warned that it could “ruin her future in politics” in this state) at the door to greet Trump in Denver. As Unruh posted on Facebook Monday:
“There are many voters scared. Living in fear that we must stick with Trump or Hillary will be elected. I understand the turmoil. This may not seem like the time to clean up the GOP, but it is. There is much more at stake than just this election. It is the allowance of a man like Trump to be the selection of the GOP. He dishonors the name of the people and he shows less integrity as each day continues.... With strength in numbers, we can stop Trump.”
5. Remind Trump of his last major headline-grabbing visit to Colorado, when then-wife Ivana Trump got into a fight with then-girlfriend Marla Maples on the slopes of Aspen, where the Trumps, who’d been married thirteen years at the time, just happened to be vacationing.
Here’s an account from the Aspen Sojourner: “When Ivana Trump and Marla Maples encountered each other on Aspen Mountain during the Christmas holidays of 1990, the story went around the world in at least three or four different versions, one of which made the front page of the next day’s New York Post. What is known for sure is that both women were in Aspen, with The Donald, at the same time. And only one of them, Ivana, was married to him. The rest of the details varied considerably.
“Some claim Ivana approached Marla in Bonnie’s restaurant and demanded, ‘You bitch, leave my husband alone!’ Others say the confrontation occurred on the ski slope at the bottom of Little Nell, where they threw snowballs and hissed at each other. Ivana has said, ‘She came to me on the mountain and told me she was in love with my husband and they were having an affair. It was extremely painful.’ Still others insist that the real source of the contretemps was that both were wearing identical expensive ski suits, possibly purchased by Trump for each of them. Whatever really happened, the result was divorce court.”
And it was all downhill from there. Trump’s subsequent marriage to Maples melted away; today the candidate is married to Melania, who’s known more for swimsuit modeling than skiing (though she’s reported to be much better at the sport than her husband).
4. Set up a welcoming committee of Colorado Republican Party members, formerly known as the “riggers,” all holding Trump piñatas. (You can find them at most piñata stores along Federal Boulevard for around $35 each; stuffing, in a variety of options, is extra.) One good bashing deserves another.
3. Let Sarah Palin be Sarah Palin. Yes, the early Trump supporter will be at the Western Conservative Summit to greet him. Back in 2014, Palin was a featured guest at the confab, as were many of the also-ran candidates of the 2016 campaign, including Cruz and Ben Carson. Dan Caplis introduced the former Alaska governor as the “most influential woman in the history of the Republican Party.”
We’re betting that Hillary Clinton, a former Republican herself, might be the most influential woman in the party this time around.
2. Pray. Already dubbed a “man baby” by Jon Stewart, Trump has been called a “baby Christian” by Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, who told reporters this past weekend that he has it on good authority that Trump, who met with evangelical leaders last week, recently came “to accept a relationship with Christ.”
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SHOW ME HOW
1. Teach the world to sing. The best possible greeting of all for Donald Trump is coincidentally already scheduled to be in Denver: GALA Choruses 2016, the world’s largest convention of GLBT performing-arts groups. The convention will at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts this weekend — only blocks from the Western Conservative Summit, and certainly close enough to make itself heard, especially since conventioneers promise to take their music to the streets.
Maybe former Democrat Trump will dump some of his baby conservative stances and exit Denver singing a different tune.
“Let us take inspiration from patriotic Colorado citizens who have banded together in protest,” Trump concluded in his WSJ piece back in April. “Let us make Colorado a rallying cry on behalf of all the forgotten people whose desperate pleas have for decades fallen on the deaf ears and closed eyes of our rulers in Washington, D.C. The political insiders have had their way for a long time. Let 2016 be remembered as the year the American people finally got theirs.”
And, please, as the year that Donald Trump finally got his.