Miller Hudson

HUDSON: MUSINGS ON THE PRESIDENCY

The hollow crown vs. the hollow man

Contributing Columnist

If I’ve learned anything after forty years in politics, it’s the fact that charisma, like beauty, exists far more in the eye of the beholder than within the character of a candidate. Any politician who embraces this madness from the crowd — popular adulation without limits — does so at considerable risk of wrenching disillusionment and disappointment once elected. Four years ago Barack Obama attempted to warn his supporters that he would not prove a perfect president — that he could only attempt to do his very best.

Coleman, Fleischer address GOP Jewish Coalition

The Colorado Statesman

A heavily advertised town hall meeting at the J.W. Marriott in Cherry Creek drew a crowd in excess of 200 on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Touted as an issues discussion for a “Pro-Israel Community at the Crossroads — Critical Issues and Choices Facing the U.S. and Israel in 2012,” the event proved an unabashed organizing event for Romney’s Jewish supporters. If you didn’t get the hint from the ‘OBAMA…OY VEY!’ buttons at the registration table, it didn’t take long to figure out once the program got underway.

Leading man Fishburne delivers a little Hollywood glamour to an unglamorous job

The Colorado Statesman

Laurence Fishburne visited Obama campaign centers along the Front Range this past Saturday, Oct. 27. He arrived at the Five Points office in Denver just after lunch without entourage, wearing a pair of worn blue jeans and a long sleeve Henley crew shirt. There was nothing particularly imposing about the man who played Morpheus in the Matrix films. At six feet and 225 pounds, he looks more like an aging athlete than a Hollywood leading man.

Groundhog Day with the President in City Park

The Colorado Statesman

He’s back! Barack Obama returned to Colorado on Wednesday for the umpteenth time in this presidential election. Beneath a threatening sky a large crowd, estimated at 16,000, spilled across the lawn between the Museum of Nature and Science and the lake. Touted as a sequel to Mitt Romney’s Red Rocks appearance the night before, I expected to find a stage facing east with the backdrop of downtown and the Rockies beyond.

A true Blue’s foray into Red (Rocks) territory

A stranger in a not-so-strange land
The Colorado Statesman

It’s been a long time since I attended a Republican rally, but Red Rocks provides a draw for any political junkie. To steal a line from Chris Matthews, it sent ‘a real thrill up my leg.’ The last time I did any politicking at Red Rocks was 1980, when we were circulating petitions to create an elected Board of Directors for RTD. The McNichols administration pretty much looked the other way concerning marijuana enforcement in those years, and I was asked to hold more than one doobie while Willie Nelson fans grappled with my clipboards.

Veep has captive audience of Dems in heart of state

The Colorado Statesman

GREELEY — At their nominating convention in Charlotte last month, the “CUPPA JOE” coffee mugs were slow movers in the Democratic souvenir stands. Wednesday morning, however, the Obama campaign could probably have peddled its entire overstock in Greeley, Colorado. Two thousand Weld County Democrats were up early to greet Joe Biden after their presidential candidate had proven the night before during his second debate with Mitt Romney that he still possessed a pulse.

HUDSON: WHY LIMIT PROMOTIONS TO ASS-KISSERS AND UNCTUOUS FLATTERERS?

Amendment S — It’s like a Trojan horse masquerading as a carousel pony

GUEST COLUMNIST

The American Constitution is admired for its introduction of checks and balances among the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. The opportunity for obstruction and delay this creates has frustrated reformers of every stripe, yet it was the stated intention of our founding fathers that they should guard public policy against the popular whims of impassioned zealotry. Three independent, competing centers of power were meant to serve as a brake on precipitous change.

HUDSON: LEGACY OF FIREFIGHTING PROFESSIONAL WON'T EASILY BE SNUFFED OUT

Randy Atkinson was admired from both sides of the aisle

Contributing Columnist

Randy Atkinson has been hanging around the Legislature for so many years it’s difficult to accept the fact he won’t be back for the next session. His death at 60 caught both friends and foes by surprise. President of the Colorado Professional Firefighters Association since 2006, Randy has been the lobbying voice of firefighters for more than thirty years. Outside of fire stations, there probably isn’t one Coloradan in a hundred who has ever heard of him. But, Atkinson was one of the most influential backroom politicians in our state.

HUDSON: TRYING TO MAKE CENTS IN POLITICS

Question for politicos: How did those guys do it? — Wives who pay the bills!

Contributing Columnist

The average American President serves 14 years in public office before ascending to the White House. When some of those years involve service in a state legislature or as a county commissioner, you should figure they probably weren’t the primary breadwinner in their families. Politicians may dress well, by and large, but local elected office doesn’t pay well, while campaigns have become increasingly expensive. Voters generally don’t consider how their leaders can afford to run a campaign or serve in office, when elected. I suspect most Coloradans would be surprised to learn that Bill Ritter liquidated much of his retirement savings to cover family expenses when he ran for Governor in 2006. There is a reason why Dan Maes was using mileage reimbursements to make mortgage expenses in 2010. Any candidacy generally requires a significant element of self-financing even if that contribution is foregone income.

DebateFest: A lawn party for the rest of us

The Colorado Statesman

It was never in the cards that more than a handful of DU students or grassroots Colorado Democrats would wangle tickets to Wednesday’s Presidential Debate. Simply accommodating the media ate up nearly half the available seats. Once the organizers squeezed in high roller contributors, national party poobahs, University administrators and elected officials, rumor has it that the Colorado Democratic and Republican parties received no more than a few dozen passes.