Thursday, April 8, 2021

Does Boebert Thrive or Just Survive?

In a political analysis in the Grand Junction Sentinel, veteran report Charles Ashby interviewed Dick Wadhams and me on the Lauren Boebert rise to prominence and the Democrats effort to defeat her by attacking her actions and statements nearly daily.

Rep. Lauren Boebert | McKenzie Lange/Daily Sentinel

Both Wadhams and I believe she is very good at gaining attention, using social media and maintaining her base in the party. I believe that, indeed, she has become an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of her party, except Boebert’s district is much more closely balanced between the parties than Ocasio-Cortez’s urban Bronx district. My thought was that Boebert knew how to “own the Libs,” but pulled back from the edge of being too extreme.

And like Boebert, Ocasio-Cortez became a frequent guest on numerous cable news programs and talk shows that had some calling her the new face of the Democratic Party. Boebert is quickly becoming that for the Republican Party, said Floyd Ciruli, a University of Denver public opinion and foreign policy professor, who also is director of DU’s Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research.

“She is now a national media star, a national fundraising star, and she will have the full backing of most Republicans who both want to save the seat and those who are of the Trump ilk,” Ciruli said. “There may be some Republicans that are simply put off by her, particularly if she does something more rash than she’s done, but I don’t think there’s anything she’s done so far that is, well, let’s just say that if I put her on a rating with (U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor) Greene, she’s less radical.”

Also, neither of us believes Democrats just going negative is going to be sufficient to defeat Boebert. Many voters like politicians who basically take rhetorical positions, but don’t necessarily accomplish much. I referenced Senator Cory Gardner:

The concept of “bringing home the bacon” in judging a lawmaker’s worth is no longer defined by how many federal dollars they can divert to their home districts.

“Bringing home the bacon, that’s sort of our (political) theory, to us older guys,” Ciruli said. “Ask (former U.S. Sen.) Cory Gardner about bringing home the bacon. He brought home so much bacon, it was unbelievable. Today, the bacon is symbolic. It’s more like, are you out fighting for me? Did you take on (former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke) on guns? She’s scored a lot of points on all of that, and she’s good at it. She gets right up to the lights. She knows how to get on TV.”