This week, the legislature will convene for the 2015 legislative session and, at the helm of the Senate, is one of Colorado’s brightest spots on the political scene, Republican
Sen. Senate President Bill Cadman. Known for his sense of humor, he’s the guy you’d most like to get stuck at a boring event with. But, he’s also a complex character as The Denver Post noted in an article today about his so-called evolution.
Cadman is the kind of politician that politicians hope to be. He’s able to remain true to his principles while also reaching across the aisle. It’s that characteristic that makes him particularly effective in the legislature. Here’s Cadman’s perspective on it, from The Post:
“What I preach is ‘Build relationships.’ Partisanship doesn’t solve many things here,” Cadman said. “Your legacy is not what you leave in those books of new laws; it’s what you invested in the people you work with here.”
That sentiment was echoed by top Democrat and Brownstein lobbyist Mike Feeley:
“The best thing is his sense of humor. It’s hard to keep up with him,” Feeley said. “Our politics might be different, but he’s a very practical, thoughtful guy who is trying to work out a compromise. He doesn’t compromise his principles, but he’s always looking for common ground.”
But, his popularity among Coloradans is different. It really stems from his ability to relate to the everyman in Colorado. His upbringing was tumultuous and he described domestic violence in his childhood on the floor of the Senate in 2013 during the gun debates. Further, the way he bootstrapped his way to his position is encouraging when so many are wondering whether opportunity exists in our country. Or, as former State House Majority Leader Amy Stephens more succinctly described his tenacity:
“Through sheer determination and street smarts, he has pulled himself up. Bill is funny as get out, but the guy has a ton under the hood.”
Naturally, he’s made mistakes along the way. The Post was kind enough to point out a 2004 driving while ability impaired charge for which he pleaded guilty, performed community service, and paid a fine. Cadman said about the incident, “I chose poorly, but I tell you, it was a great lesson.” The incident happened a decade ago (apparently, a decade-old incident ago is ok to mention, but Udall’s felony drug arrest in the 1970s is not – not that we’re bitter). Of course, Cadman would be in good company as liberal Gov. John Hickenlooper also received a DWAI in 1989. It’s funny that didn’t come up in the 2014 election, but we digress.
While the article spotlights some of Cadman’s faults, we say bring it. We love a reformed sinner, and who better to fight for the everyman than the man who has stumbled once or twice, but pulled himself to the top in the end?