After losing out on the Chairmanship of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that he coveted like a teenage girl after a boy band, Rep. Jared Polis tossed out this lame excuse about why he’s not sad (via: The Denver Post):
Polis said in a statement. “My top priority since being elected to Congress has always been representing the people of Colorado and I’m relieved not to have to balance that with a partisan office.”
To clarify though, Polis didn’t mean all the people of Colorado, or really even all the people of his district. In reality, Polis only really represents the deep-blue Boulder, and those with vacation homes sprinkled throughout the mountains. In a new article by Lynn Bartels today, we see that Polis actually lost 40% of the counties he represents, while barely squeaking by in a fifth. As Bartels writes:
Yes, Democratic Congressman Jared Polis handily won re-election in a GOP wave year, but opponent George Leing is the first Republican congressional candidate to carry Larimer County since 2002.
Leing also carried Grand, Jefferson and Park counties and lost Broomfield County by less than 1 percentage point.
How great would it have been to see a man as extreme as Polis being the captain of Democrats’ U.S. House campaign arm? A man who basically bought a seat in the House by winning a Democratic primary, trying to coach endangered incumbents on how to win in purple areas. A man who lost all of his own moderate counties, trying to tell Democrat recruits how to win moderate seats.
Here’s the thing about Polis, this seat representing Boulder is as good as it gets for him. There’s no way Polis could move up to a state-wide position like Senator or Governor in Colorado; whatever he’s going to accomplish politically will have to be from his seat in Boulder. He’s like the worst of Udall (a record far to the left of Colorado’s center), without any of the positives (no rugged handsomeness, no mountaineering stories). Which is why, a stinging rebuke from Nancy Pelosi on Polis’ attempt to move up in the House Democrats ranks has got to be all that much more painful.
Then again, Pelosi herself has led House Democrats to a bigger deficit of seats than a majority of Coloradans have seen in our lifetimes, maybe it’s time House Democrats look to a new leader. We’d love to see how few seats a Polis-led Democratic caucus could reach.