A Denver Post story today has fueled the fires of speculation: could Dick Wadhams, the political genius who felled Tom Daschle, be coming home to Colorado to take the chairmanship of the state’s Republican Party? Well, Wadhams is indeed returning to Colorado, but he is not ready to show his hand quite yet. Jason Bane thinks the job would be beneath Wadhams – but he can’t be happy about this news. His colleague Cara Degette is more open about the terror being struck in her fellow Democrats’ hearts.
Right now, I’d have to admit that giving Wadhams the reins of the state party sounds like wishful thinking – even with Republican legislative leaders like Andy McElhany and Mike May making a lot of noise about the possibility. And unless Wadhams has some visionary ideas about how to revive the clout and importance of the state party in the McCain-Feingold era of campaign finance, Bane just might be right: his talents probably could be put to better use. (Making the chairmanship a paid position, as Dan Haley says some party insiders are talking about, would be a necessary – but not a sufficient – change.)
As Degette’s questions suggested, it seems probable that Wadhams is gearing up to manage an important 2008 U.S. Senate campaign here: but I believe Allard is not going to run for a third term (it seems apparent, however, that he has not yet decided himself), and Owens won’t be the one to run, either. Perhaps Bob Schaffer?
Having Wadhams back in Colorado at this juncture – regardless of what capacity he may be preparing to work in – is a nice palliative to revive the spirits of the Republican faithful in this state. Yet achieving electoral success and returning to power are going to require a lot more than just relying on the savvy of a leading political genius. For now, though, it’s at least nice to know a few of Colorado’s Democrat operatives will be having some sleepless nights in the near future.