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Andrew Romanoff, and Bill Ritter's latest misstep

Former speaker of the Colorado House Andrew Romanoff's potential primary challenge to senatorial appointee Michael Bennet is earning national notice: In case you missed it, Rachel Maddow's take on the situation, which she mostly views through a healthcare prism, can be viewed above. But this morning's Denver Post gives the story in a new twist. Specifically, reporter Michael Riley cites multiple sources who claim Romanoff only began exploring a Senate run after a deal by Governor Bill Ritter to appoint him lieutenant governor fell through.

To say the least, the scheme, which would have had to involve current LG Barbara O'Brien either jumping or being pushed from office, seems cockeyed in the extreme -- and it once again calls Ritter's political skills into question, as did his quickly withdrawn proposal to divert money for extra drunk-driving patrols to help offset budget shortfalls. A Post editorial today argues that this plan wasn't as terrible as it seemed at first blush, but even if that's true, it means zip politically. (Same goes for the brouhaha over President Barack Obama's planned speech to schoolchildren this Tuesday, which doesn't distress Post, either.) Ritter could have kept Romanoff happy by appointing him Colorado's Secretary of State in December -- a position for which he was a finalist. Instead, he handed the job to Bernie Buescher, who would have been bummed if he'd lost out, no doubt -- but he wouldn't have entertained going head-to-head against Bennet, as Romanoff is supposedly considering. Yet another botch for Bill.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts