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Absolutely! Bridges might be a good governor. He has good ideas. He's a good speaker. He's smart(usually). But no one gets elected by thinking that is enough. Never missing an opportunity to get a good, positive message in the press and in voters heads is a huge part. That is political smarts. A lot of JeffcoDems were interested and supportive of Bridges a few months ago after he spoke at a fundraiser - but he didn't respond to that either. Another missed opportunity to build support.

Jazzy J.

Very well written post. I could not agree more. I read the article and cringed with each sentence. I could not have scripted a worse rollout of a major campaign. And I have been involved in a few. Bridges reenforced all the negatives that will be leveled at him in his own rollout. Other than money I don't see many reasons for putting Bridges at the top of the ticket and his announcement confirmed that.


In the only article that's going to run state-wide, the AP article, Bridges looks like a gem. Here's what his kickoff really looks like, and here's why Bridges is going to win:

To read it online click here.

or go to:

Democrat Bridges Enters Race For Colorado Governor
Ken Salazar Hasn't Ruled Out Leaving Senate, Running

POSTED: 4:22 pm MDT June 2, 2005

DENVER -- Entrepreneur Rutt Bridges declared his candidacy for Colorado governor Thursday, becoming the second Democrat to officially seek the job Republican Gov. Bill Owens must give up next year because of term limits.

"The state of Colorado is full of people with hopes and dreams, and it's time to put aside partisan politics to work on common-sense solutions," Bridges said in a telephone interview.

Bridges, 53, made a fortune developing software that helps identify potential sources of oil and natural gas and later founded the Bighorn Center for Public Policy think tank in Denver.

In announcing a bid for his first political office, Bridges touted his humble roots in rural Georgia and his work in helping put a no-call law against telemarketers in place in Colorado.

"Certainly without good public schooling and the opportunity to go to a public university, I would never have been able to enjoy the American dream," Bridges said. "I would have been doing what my father did: drill water wells."

The only other Democrat officially in the race is former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter, who has described himself as "pro-life."

On the Republican side, Rep. Bob Beauprez said he wants to run for governor and others considering the race include former Rep. Scott McInnis and University of Denver president Marc Holtzman, who has never held office.

Last year, Bridges briefly considered running for Senate but bowed out when the eventual winner, Ken Salazar, expressed interest. Salazar recently refused to rule out a run for governor next year when Owens must step down after two terms.

"I'm confident that Ken Salazar isn't running," Bridges said. "He's a wonderful guy and he feels accomplished that he's in the Senate. I'm proud of him for that."

Bridges and other Democratic millionaires spent a lot of money last year winning back the statehouse for the party for the first time in more than 40 years.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Neophyte, novice, newby, call him what you want, they don't really describe him. He has been around this game for a few years, and he clearly has been motivated to get elected on a high level for at least a year, probably two. What he is is naive, and insulated. Look at the people around him, why would you hire a guy who managed a disastrous campaign for Denver District Attorney (Beth McCants was managed by Tyler Chafee). He's got Steve (I ran for U.S. Senate and got KILLED) Leatherman trying to convince people to be fundraisers. This is a joke. Untill "Rutt" is willing to dig himself out, and hire some people who can say "no", and do some real work, he is screwed, as are Dems since Hick ain't runnin'. I even hear his think tank is largely a farce these days, with several sources confirming to me that the primary activity there is "playing office", not creating policy. Bridges is the most self assured awkward guy I have ever met, I guess money can provide happines, or at least false bravado.


Just because you all at Coloradopols work for the Denver Newspaper Agency doesn't mean you have to write a treatise trying to defend a jerk reporter.

Tora, tora, tora!

This is one bad story that could never be turned into an attack ad by anyone, ever. Anyone who has actually written an attack ad knows that.

Jay Muller

Disaster? Yeah, right. If you want to read the rest of the state's coverage, check below:

Rocky Mountain News:

Grand Junction Sentinel:

Colorado Springs Gazette:

Pueblo Chieftain:

Ter Ducken

Why would you blame the reporter for the Denver Post? If she just called Rutt to ask about his announcement, she WAS DOING HER JOB. It's not her fault Rutt screwed up the answer.


Someone is touting the AP story that still holds Salazar out there as a candidate as an example of a great campaign announcement? Jesus - if the best Bridges can do is get a story where Ken Salazar trumps him, then we Dems are in big trouble.

I've been very critical of how this happened and couldn't agree more with the post. I like Bridges - I think he's a decent person, cares about Colorado and would offer a great deal in service as Governor. He's got the back story, he's got the money and he's got presence to be a good candidate. That's why I'm so frustrated by this week's developments.

A candidate is never more popular than the day he or she announces for office. Everything else is downhill from that day. That's why so much preparation and planning goes into an announcement - so you don't screw things up to the point where the negative begins off the bat. It's the one day the ball is pitched to you at about 30 MPH and looks as big as a watermelon - it's all wicked fastballs, curves and sinkers after that. You swing and miss at that watermelon, and people start to wonder.

To discount this as just another glitch on the campaign trail, or one of those "bad days" that you can bounce back from with a "good day" reveals a lack of understanding of how important the launch of a campaign is. Trust me - you will not see the pros behind Beauprez, or Bobby himself, make this kind of blunder.

Again, it's a real shame because Bridges could be a good candidate. He may still be - while all the criticism swirling in Democratic circles may have a dead man walking feel to it, he can rebound - whether the people he has around him can carry that off is another question.


And, for everyone blaming the newspaper or reporter for all this, sounds suspiciously like all the Watergate crooks this week (Liddy, Colson, etc.) pointing fingers at the Washington Post and Deep Throat as if they were the ones guilty of something. It's not a real great defense, and it doesn't really make your candidate look all that strong.

Ter Ducken

It isn't like colorado pols is breaking this story. I heard a lot of these same points all day yesterday and again this morning from my Democratic friends.


This, as many stories on this blog, are much ado over nothing. Could this have been handled better? Yes. At the end of the day, will it have any impact? No.

The primary is 15 months away; we don't know who is running yet; gubernatorial races are not like congressional races in that they get a TON of ink therfore givingg Rutt plenty of exposure and opportunity to explanin why he wants to be governor; and Rutt does not lack resources to get his own message out.

Consider this a minor opportunity lost, not by any means a big disaster. Everyone needs to calm down and look at the big picture -- what candidate has the money, the message, and the ability to mobilizie voters? Right now, it's too early to know who will emerge from the pack.

So far, we have had three "major" Dem announcements, and all have been off message:
1. Bridges; as reported here extensively.
2. Ritter; completely mis-handled the choice/life question, announced the day after the fatal shooting of a Denver cop; etc.
3. Perlmutter. This is forgotten now, but remember that the D Post story on his announcement spent as much time talking about his divorce as anything else.

Much ado over nothing.


You folks at ColoradoPols say you're not out to get Bridges, but it does seem you're hoping to create some open spots on his campaign.

Please send applications to...


Anyone who bothered to read the other stories will have noticed that THIS WASN'T THE ANNOUNCEMENT. The big party, balloons, and all that jazz will be within "30 to 90 days." Expect better coverage and a bigger deal at that one.

And skibum's right - we got 15 months, folks.

And to the person who said you're never more popular than day 1 - how can two candidates running against each other both be going downhill from day 1? Doesn't make sense, bud.

Ter Ducken

You only have ONE announcement. You really think the press is going to give a crap when he does his big balloon announcement? It's old news at that point. You can't report "Rutt Bridges is running for governor" again in two months.

Let's not argue over semantics here. When you say you are running for office, that is your announcement. You just ANNOUNCED that you are running. That's like saying you lost an election but you are considering the next week the real election. It doesn't work that way.


I respectfully disagree with Ter. There is a subtle game in politics -- you try and get some free press when you say you are running, but will "officially" announce later. Then you do a statewide tour with rallies, press conferences in each media market, the whole deal, and the press covers that too. It's supposed to be a double-hit, and it happens all the time -- Ken Salazar's was a great example of this.

In this case, Bridges missed the first hit. Let's see how he does on the second try.


Jones - it's an old-time political saying and not meant to be taken literally. It supposed to illustrate how a candidate, his life, his record, etc., gets picked apart piece-by-piece by opponents, voters and the media during a campaign.

Donald E. L. Johnson

I can't count the number of times pundits' predictions have been proven wrong in subsequent polls and elections. But it appears that Bridges has hurt himself with potential contributors and volunteers. Nobody wants to back a loser.

The question is, which of these announced candidates is not a loser? Please rank the three candidates on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of their chances of being nominated, with 1 being no chance and 10 being, the winner.



Skibum is right. You can get a "twofer" with an announcment and a big balloon shu-bang. But I wouldn't say this one was "botched," unless your only source for news is Coloradopols. The rest of the state and anyone who reads the Rocky got some great articles about Bridges!

Alfalfa: It's also an old time saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, or that you shouldn't go outside on a cold day with wet hair, or don't swim after eating. All of those are wrong, and so is your theory about everything being downhill after the announcement.

Denver voter

I'd disagree with Jones that Bridges is a 10, but I'd certainly put RB well, well above Ritter and somewhat above Holtzman and Bobby "DeLay" Beauprez.

The comparison to Hickenlooper is apt--an intelligent, common-sense, outsider businessman with room to run. I'd put Bridges near an 8.

Inquiring minds

Just a quick question for the Dead Guvs... what's the record for highest number of reader comments on a single story?

With yesterday's and today's posts combined, the ever popular Mr. Bridges seems to be generating a lot of interest...

Burned Bridges

This goofy let me explain what I really ment to say announcement nonannouncment reminds me of Rutt's oddball Senate run that was kicked off with him standing next to his wife and fiance, wonder if they'll try that one again. Elect me you get two first ladies (Don't worry I already paid for them both).
We need a better Horse and Fitzgerald is worth riding.


Ok, please don't every use the phrase "fitzgerald is worth riding" again!

Stuck in a rutt

I agree bad use of a metaphor, gonna need therapy to get ride ummm I mean rid of that image. Rutt will likely fail so what's our plan B....Fitzgerald....Salazar?????

Alva Adams


That's a good question, and one we don't have the answer to. We've had a few posts generate more than 100 comments, but we don't really track that.

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