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Craig Alan Silverman

Craig Alan Silverman

Posted: September 3, 2010 04:35 PM

The Real Gorilla in the Room

What's Your Reaction:

Going to the candidates debate
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you've got to choose
Every way you look at it, you lose

Mrs. Robinson - lyrics by Paul Simon

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? There was your
paisano, Tom Tancredo, having fun and swinging effortlessly on Thursday afternoon at the opposition in the first Governor's race debate. Neither John Hickenlooper nor Dan Maes seemed to be enjoying the experience.

Who could blame them? Dan Maes is taking fire from all directions. The Mayor of Denver is the Democratic nominee in a year when the D might as well stand for Disaster. Everybody keeps telling Hick he is lucky, but he knew yesterday that there was an eight hundred pound gorilla out there (there was talk of such gorillas during the debate).

Her name is Jane Norton and she is attractive, rested and ready to ride to the Republican rescue. Read all about it at Red State blog. For the first time yesterday, I heard a little wiggle room out of Dan Maes. The Republican nominee acknowledged that he had to listen when people of the high caliber of Hank Brown give you the word.

I was sitting in the KBDI viewing room watching the debate and Karen Maes' reaction to it. I felt sorry for Mrs. Maes. What an ordeal this has to be for the Maes' family. Karen Maes appears resolute about the race, and the one thing we know for sure about Dan Maes is that he has to go home at night and be with his wife, not Hank Brown or John Andrews.

Here are the debate highlights. Jim Benneman and Eric Sondermann were excellent, well prepared, moderators. Dan Maes was physically wedged between the Hick and the Tanc. Tanc told Maes that he possessed character and credibility problems, but Tom still touched Dan's arm empathetically a couple times during the debate. Dan Maes did well articulating his positions, especially under the circumstances.

Hick was mostly his usual self-effacing, energetic, charming self; and managed to integrate major parts of his stump speech. The trouble came when the Mayor addressed the troublesome charity disclosure (Chinook Fund) issue. Hick explained that charities were private, like book lists. This is the Denver Mayor with the accomplished author wife that founded One Book - One Denver and the Chinook Fund. (Wait till you see the help that Jim Benneman might have given the Mayor with The Help as an answer to an amazingly well timed next question about the book at the candidate's current bedside.)

John Hickenlooper knows that he is beatable in November. He will need lots of the help to win. So far, the GOP has been helping plenty.