Stealing a page out of the Ronald Reagan playbook, Colorado’s very own Happy Warrior is getting more national attention for his energetic personality and the positive message that he is bringing to the campaign trail. The latest national figure to give his imprimatur to Cory Gardner’s candidacy was Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will, who dedicated his weekend column to Gardner’s upbeat approach to running against an entrenched incumbent who can rightfully claim politics as the family business.
Juxtaposed against Udall’s dour tone throughout the campaign, and the Senator’s unexplainable decision to make social issues the centerpiece of his campaign, many candidates with a positive, upbeat message would have fared well. But Gardner’s constant optimism, something Will dubbed “human sunbeam” made the difference between the two candidates very stark at the retail level. And that is exactly where Gardner is making a huge impact.
Gardner’s “unshakable cheerfulness” is evident whether he is talking with the wait staff bringing his meal or sitting across the table from a CEO. It’s this attitude that has prevented the tired “war on women” meme from sticking. The fact that Gardner came out with a common sense plan to make birth control pills available over the counter has also make Udall’s single-issue approach to the campaign trail a more confused one.
Just as ballots are hitting Coloradans’ mailboxes, the Gardner campaign is peaking, while the Udall campaign is floundering and desperate to find a positive message that resonates with voters. We expect to hear a lot more from national figures of Will’s stature in the coming weeks, as Gardner makes his closing argument in a positive and uplifting way.