The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News have put in their two cents worth about State Treasurer Mike Coffman’s decision to step down and serve a seven-month stint in Iraq.
The Post finds it easy to salute elected Republicans, when they decide to leave the country for awhile, even if it means participating in a military action that the Post editorial board is less than comfortable with. At least they left this stern admonition:
We don’t think it’s appropriate for Coffman’s party to use his decision to seek a partisan advantage. Coffman has our good wishes as he prepares for his second service in Iraq, and we look forward to welcoming him back to the treasurer’s office.
They couldn’t resist leaping into the political speculation instantly falling out from Coffman’s announcement, and of course their advice is always in the Republican Party’s best interest.
The Rocky‘s editors also weighed the question of whether Governor Owens should appoint a permanent or temporary replacement for the departing reserve Marine major:
This request puts Owens and other Republicans in an awkward spot. It would have been much simpler for all had Coffman decided to leave the job permanently.
True enough, and a more balanced assessment. After careful consideration, I think the governor should do all he can to accommodate the departing Treasurer’s request. The GOP won’t suffer for it, and sometimes there are other things to consider besides politics. Sometimes….
Meanwhile, some commenters over at The Dead Governors site question Coffman’s motives, others speculate about his political ambitions, and a few stand up to defend his noble decision. Look, you can take the man at his word. He has said he is considering a run for Secretary of State and that’s all, so any suggestion that he is planning a secret campaign to run in the 7th Congressional District is ridiculous and made by someone who doesn’t understand Coffman too well.
I must say that Treasurer – no, make that Major – Coffman is a rare breed: one of a handful of politicians I’ve met willing to put greater interests ahead of his own personal and political ambitions. I suggest to you that he should be looked at as a role model. We can worry about the 2006 election later – Coffman is getting ready to play a key role in a larger and more significant mission now.
To quote my friend Clay’s remarks on the topic:
Colorado will miss Mike. He is an honest and honorable gentleman. On this day especially our prayers are for his comfort with his decision, his safety while in training, a hedge of protection around him while in service to our nation, and for his safe return to our country and his family.
Amen to that.