Political campaigns love to develop a narrative and connect it to everything they say and do. But sometimes they overdo it, and the campaign narrative suddenly looks cramped.
Thanks to reporting by multiple media outlets, GOP senatorial candidate Cory Gardner's all-consuming Obamacare narrative is already smelling overdone and forced. It's not just because Obamacare appears to be working.
Take, for example, Gardner's foundational story about deciding to enter the Senate race.
Gardner: I thought about reconsidering running for the U.S. Senate, but it really picked up last year when we received our healthcare cancellation notice.
If that's true, and Gardner has said this numerous times, then Gardner's thoughts about entering the race "really picked up" in August, six months before he told The Denver Post in February that he was launching his Senate campaign against Sen. Mark Udall.
So Gardner left his Republican opponents floundering for six months, even though he had publicly announced June 28, three months earlier, that he would not run against Udall in part because he wanted to get out of the way of his opponents who were "making their decisions" about running.
More doubts about Gardner's foundational Obamacare campaign-origin story surfaced when Politico reported that Gardner decided to enter the race after seeing the results of a poll conducted by Republicans in Washington DC.
That was January, about five months after Gardner got his letter outlining his options for coverage under Obamacare.
January was also the time period when Gardner stepped up his attacks on Sen. Mark Udall, as if his campaign against Udall was suddenly in motion. Gardner sent a Jan. 9 letter from his congressional office to the Colorado Division of Insurance asking questions about it's interactions with Udall's office. In mid-January, Gardner asked his own congressional committee to investigate. Gardner's a member of the Commerce committee. And Then the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which, according to Politico, conducted the poll convincing Gardner to run for Senate, sent a Jan. 17 letter to Udall, with more questions.
This timeline, casting serious doubts on Gardner's story that his Obamacare letter pushed him into the race, was constructed with the record produced by journalists covering Gardner, day-to-day, month-to-month. It's a small testament to why political reporting is important and how it creates a picture of a candidate for office for us to contrast with the messaging of his campaign.