Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Was Scott Gessler all wet to announce for governor this week? Tune into CPT tonight

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler had scheduled an announcement for September 17, long before floodwaters started spilling over in Colorado. So should he have cancelled what would turn out to be his gubernatorial kickoff once he found out that much of the state would soon be underwater? That's the question that leads tonight's Colorado Inside Out on Colorado Public Television. Some of Gessler's critics -- a group larger than the crowd in a Weld County shelter -- said yes, it was insensitive for him to go forward. But if you want to be governor, you'd better be prepared to govern in good times...and in bad.

Very bad, as you consider that people are still waiting for rescue. And even once Colorado's residents are all safe and dry, there will be hundreds of miles of roads to rebuild, dozens of bridges to replace, and thousands of houses (many uninsured) to restore.

Gessler had scheduled his Cable Center announcement for a week after the recall election in Colorado Springs and Pueblo -- enough time to figure out if there were any big election snafus that the Secretary of State's office would have to deal with (or could be blamed for), and also to analyze what kind of impact that recall vote might have on the 2014 campaign. His strategists were prepared for any eventuality at the ballot box -- but no one could have predicted a flood of Biblical proportions.

You can blame Gessler for many things -- but not insensitivity in this case. Because of all the flood coverage, his announcement didn't make much of a splash -- but there's still plenty of time for his critics to say he's gotten in over his head. Fourteen months, in fact.

For more on his gubernatorial race, go to the still very bare-bones Scott Gessler for Governor website. And for more discussion of this, the flood and Colorado's cleanup, tune into Channel 12 at 8 p.m. tonight.

From the Calhoun: Wake Up Call archives: "Want to help Colorado flood victims? Here's how."

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun