John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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Spiking the Ball in the Mile High City

Posted on February 18, 2009

Spiking the Ball



  Obama should have signed the biggest extra spending bill in our nation’s history at Mile High Stadium.



  He went to Denver and he spiked the ball.



  He chose the site of his epic convention speech (at least according to the media) to sign the so-called stimulus bill. 



  Colorado used to be a pretty solidly Republican state.  While it has always has always had its populist impulses, the Centennial State has leaned towards the GOP. 



  In fact, this year marks the first time since the dark days of Watergate that Colorado has a majority Democratic delegation in the House, two Democratic Senators and a Democratic Governor. 



  It goes without saying that Colorado went for Obama in this last election, signaling to Democrats that they perhaps have new life in the old West.  Bill Clinton won there in 1996 against Bob Dole, and LBJ beat Goldwater in 1964, but otherwise, Colorado has been pretty solidly Republican for the past 50 years.



  That this state is trending Democratic in a big way should be troubling for Republicans. 



  They have to deal with three big political problems if they want to be competitive there again.  They have to do better among Hispanic voters (they cracked 10 percent of the vote for the first time in the last election), they have to a better environmental message, and they have to nominate better candidates (Bob Shaffer didn’t cut it).



  That Obama spiked the ball in Colorado should be a wake-up call for the national Republican Party.  He was sending a message that he aims make not only Colorado blue, but also a solid majority of Western states as well.  If Republicans want to compete, they have to modify their message (especially on immigration and the environment) and expand their political base.