We can’t help but wonder for whom Curtis Hubbard was working last week when the Denver Post ran an editorial mocking Tom Tancredo’s decision to enter the governor’s race.
Hubbard announced Friday that he will leave his position as Denver Post editorial-page editor to take a job with OnSight Public Affairs, a Denver firm that handles almost exclusively liberal and Democratic clients, including Gov. John Hickenlooper.
In what may have been a try-out for the job, Hubbard either wrote or authorized a May 27 editorial reaming Tancredo for having the temerity to offer himself as an alternative to the Democratic governor.
It’s no surprise that the reliably liberal Denver Post editorial page would oppose the Republican Tancredo, but the unsigned article, “GOP can do better than Tom Tancredo,” was snarky and mean-spirited even by Post standards.
“So Tom Tancredo wants to run for governor again. He’s got all of that experience from last time, you see, when he finished 15 points behind the victor,” said the editorial. “Maybe he could cut that margin down to — what do you think? — only 5 to 10 percent. Is that good enough for the Republican Party?”
Remember that Tancredo ran for governor in 2010 as a third-party candidate yet still garnered nearly 40 percent of the vote, a feat unmatched in modern Colorado political history. Hubbard may disagree with Tancredo’s politics – many Coloradans certainly do – but the former five-term congressman and Reagan appointee deserves better than to be treated like a gadfly by the state’s paper of record.
Days later, the Post took the unusual step of allowing Tancredo to reply on its opinion page, an indication that the paper’s cooler heads may have realized that Hubbard had crossed the line from commentator to campaign manager.
“It surprises no one that The Denver Post opposes my candidacy for governor, but why pretend to have the best interests of the Republican Party at heart? Coloradans know that wolf packs don’t yearn for stronger sheep.” said Tancredo in a May 30 “Guest Commentary.”
“The Post says that it welcomes a robust political dialogue, and yet, when candidates express opinions that challenge political correctness, The Post’s editors portray them as ‘out of the mainstream’ and ‘right-wing.’”
When not undercutting the governor’s Republican challengers, Hubbard made no secret of his admiration for Hickenlooper in articles such as his Feb. 24 puff piece, “Gov. John Hickenlooper, moderator in chief.”
“The more you watch Colorado’s Democratic governor, however, the more you realize how much more comfortable he is when trying to bring people together,” said Hubbard. “He is the charming—if a little awkward—guest who wants to be liked but also realizes he is likeable enough to bring people together.”
With redundant fawning like that, it’s no wonder that Hickenlooper wants Hubbard on his team.
Before he officially changes titles, however, we’d like to know whether last week’s hit piece came from a disinterested observer of the state’s political scene, or a shill for the governor. Whatever Hubbard may believe, you can’t be both.