McCain Wagons West

Presumptive GOP nominee John McCain will make a Mile High stopover on Thursday, visiting the Denver Athletic Club for a meet and greet with his Colorado Finance Committee.

“Finance Committee” means “rich and/or powerful donors,” and “his” committee means “Romney and Giuliani’s.” It’s an old truism that Democrats fall in love with a candidate while Republicans fall in line, and no case is cut clearer than McCain’s hodgepodge, vagabond Colorado GOP contingent.

On Thursday, the DAC will be full of Romney ’08 and Giuliani ‘08 refugees, those conservatives who were left adrift when Mitt and Rudy’s ships went down in stormy primary seas. Of the listed chairs, co-chairs and host committee members for the event, nearly a third have variously been connected with or contributed to the campaigns of McCain’s former rivals.

The state’s politicians, naturally, have a refined sense of the shifting political winds that doubtless help ease any snap candidate switch. State AG John Suthers may have said it best to the Denver Post, "Politics is about making choices and making the available choices." Count among the available-choice-makers the clan of Romney supporters including Suthers, Wayne Allard, Bill Owens, Bob Beauprez, state senator Andy McElhany, NRC committeewoman Lilly Nunez, and Presidential Special Counsel-turned-El Pomar Foundation chairman Bill Hybl. Giuliani backers Rep. Don Marostica, former state Secretary of Technology and ex-DU prez Marc Holtzman and Denver County GOP chairwoman Mary Smith will also hobnob.

And among the state’s voters, who delivered Romney a Super Tuesday win with nearly 60% of the caucus vote, influential citizen bigwigs like Alex Cranberg, Chairman of Aspect Energy, and Frances Owens (formerly co-chair of the Colorado “Women for Mitt” Coalition), made the Mitt-to-John move. Maybe it’s our frontier tradition in the face of imminent danger, but Colorado GOPers can circle the wagons with the best of them.

So when those at McCain’s private roundtable are shelling out the $25,000 they were supposed to raise, along with other attendees contributing $2,300 for photo opportunities and $1,000 for general admission, forgive some of them their lack of excitement and passion for the cause. Leave that to penniless Democrats.

-- Joe Horton

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