An interesting blog post in Roll Call today fleshes out the man, Rep. Ben Ray Jujan, who bested Rep. Jared Polis in the race to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; and, much to Polis’ chagrin, Jujan wasn’t even aiming for it. Reading the blank space around the picture painted about Jujan by the praise of his fellow Democratic House Members, we can see what qualities they felt Polis lacked. As Rep. Maxine Waters told Roll Call:
“He was not talked about as one of the usual suspects,” Waters told CQ Roll Call. “It shows a recognition that someone who shows promise should be given opportunities,” even if that person isn’t the loudest or the most demonstrative. [the Peak’s emphasis]
It’s hard not to believe Waters wasn’t picturing Polis when she made this comment. “Demonstrative” and bombastic are essentially the two most prominent qualities Polis has made his political career: vastly outspending opposition for a seat on the State School Board; ignoring the old guard of Boulder Democrats when jumping into a post-Udall, open Boulder seat race; blackmailing Gov. John Hickenlooper with threats of dividing Colorado Democrats over fracking. Polis has one political technique: go full Rambo. To be fair, it has brought him this far, but it also might be the thing that prevents him from going any further. Lujan is clearly seen as much more of a collaborator than Polis, as Roll Call writes:
Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio said she was “pleasantly surprised” by the selection, predicting Luján would “ingratiate himself”…
… Members, staffers and political observers describe him as low-key and unassuming, someone who puts his head down and does his job, and who doesn’t care whether the task at hand is exciting or glamorous. One Democratic aide said he never misses meetings or appointments, and it’s that perfect attendance record and positive attitude that gets noticed in a town that likes to reward happy warriors. [the Peak’s emphasis]
The thing about Polis, he never seems like he is ever enjoying himself. In interview after interview, he comes across as a man always at least mildly annoyed that he has to explain why he and his plans are so brilliant; the misunderstood genius, who has to speak slowly so the stupid people beneath him can catch up to where he’s at.
But, Lujan is such a great guy, he’s got a surefire way to teach Polis how to be a happy warrior like himself. As he told Roll Call:
He chalked up his work ethic to his upbringing on a farm.
“No job was too small,” Luján said. “You did it all. When I was very young in age, milking goats.
With it being Christmas, we know Polis’ office will have plenty of goats milling around. Maybe this year Polis should keep one and have Lujan come over and teach him how to milk it.