The latest 5280 hagiography
of a Democratic saint on embattled U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet painted such a beautiful picture that we almost contemplated voting for him. Too bad a lot of it was hilariously wrong. Below are a few of our favorite passages. We’ve added friendly reminders of reality.
About Bennet and Denver Public Schools: “What he did have, he later told the school board, was a legal background, helpful for negotiating contracts; a business mind that could manage budgets; and the political experience of working for the mayor, an obvious asset in running an urban school district. The board hired him over two candidates who had spent their careers in education.”
Friendly Reminder: Bennet’s so-called business mind was the one who dragged DPS into a risky financial maneuver that cost the district millions. From the New York Times:
“To members of the Denver Board of Education, it sounded ideal. It was complex, involved several different financial instruments and transactions. But, Michael Bennet, now a United States Senator from Colorado, who was superintendent of the school at the time, and Tom Boasberg, then the system’s chief operating officer, persuaded the seven-person board of the deal’s advantages, according to interviews with its members.”
How many times exactly has Bennet said, trust me, I’m a business guy only to blow through, according to some estimates, $124 million in termination fees for this risky deal?
About Bennet and his anonymity: “The senator can be so under the radar, in fact, that he verges on being anonymous and can move around Colorado mostly unnoticed. In the week or so I spent with him in the state, the lone instance I saw him stopped was when a Transportation Security Administration agent pulled him aside for an extended screening at the Durango airport.”
Friendly Reminder: While the author seems to think his anonymity is charming, the truth is more along the lines that Bennet is so infrequently in Colorado that even uber-liberal editor of the Aurora Sentinel Dave Perry complained about it:
“A carefully worded statement from senior Colorado Sen. (and sometimes Colorado visitor) Michael Bennet should be our clue….”
What can we say? We love Democratic infighting.
About Bennet and Attacking Cory Gardner: “Senator Harry Reid eventually tapped Bennet to run the DSCC for the 2014 midterms—a difficult job considering that he was defending seven Democratic seats in states Mitt Romney had won in 2012. Bennet accepted the job on the condition that he wouldn’t be required to rip Republicans in public, and Reid agreed.”
Friendly Reminder: Um, he and the DSCC definitely attacked Cory Gardner. Not sure which campaign they were in…. Speaking of…..
About Bennet and the DSCC: “After lunch on the LWCF day, Bennet hosts several meetings with Colorado agricultural and environmental groups. When he emerges an hour later, a staffer hands him some paperwork, the documentation that his tenure as the chairman of the DSCC is officially over. He gleefully signs his name and raises his arms. ‘I’m out!'”
Friendly Reminder: After the disastrous 2014 election, we can hardly blame him for doing cartwheels down Pennsylvania Avenue once free. But, let’s not forget that this is another situation in which Bennet convinced people he was up for a job that he had no business doing. He won ONE election in a horrific year for Republicans in Colorado and, then, took that victory as a sign that he knew how to win all elections. Besides, Bennet’s joy at leaving his post at the DSCC doesn’t mean he’s not a Washington insider.
We can appreciate 5280‘s attempts to make Sen. Bennet’s awkwardness and love of Washington, D.C. more palatable, but the magazine is preaching to the choir. Denverites are pre-programmed to like him. What did that TSA agent from Durango have to say?