Tom Tancredo, Jane Norton -- and Sarah Palin?

In an article by ace Denver Post reporter Lynn Bartels, former Congressman Tom Tancredo unloads on fellow Republican (and former Colorado Lieutenant Governor) Jane Norton, saying the only reason she'll be announcing a Senate run later today is because she was talked into it by Arizona Senator and recent presidential nominee John McCain. "Does John McCain have a right to do that? Sure. Do I have a right to bitch about it? You bet," Tancredo told Bartels. "Jane Norton is a nice lady who I like. End of story. But I fear she is not ready for prime time."

Anyone surprised that Tancredo would go rogue against one of his own must not have been paying attention in recent years. "The Flag Bearer," Westword's 2003 profile of the ex-rep, is filled with anecdotes about him refusing to toe the party line. But if McCain really was the string-puller behind Norton's candidacy, she may be make more of a mark than her three-sentence Wikipedia page would suggest. The last politico McCain anointed was a certain Sarah Palin, who supplied loads of hilarity en route to not becoming our nation's vice president -- and while Norton can't see Russia from her house, she's got to have a little bit of a mavericky streak to have struck Big John's political fancy. If so, Coloradans may tune in whether she's ready for prime time or not.