09/03/2010 04:46 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Real Gorilla in the Room

Going to the candidates

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
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
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'
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
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
author wife
Book - One Denver

and the
. (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
in November.
He will need lots of the help to win. So far, the GOP has been
helping plenty.