Wayne Allard to Retire - Should Susan Collins Follow Suit?
Sen. Wayne Allard said today he will honor his term-limits pledge and leave at the end of 2008, creating a replacement fight that should turn Colorado into one of the country’s biggest electoral battlegrounds.Implications:
"I just didn't think I could back away from the (term limits) commitment. It is a matter of integrity and keeping your commitments. I have never wavered on that," Allard told the Rocky Mountain News.
Appearing with his wife, Joan, at a press conference at the state Capitol, Allard said, "The people of Colorado placed their trust in me based on a promise I made to them and I am honoring that promise. In an age when promises are cast away as quickly as yesterday’s newspaper, I believe a promise made should be a promise kept."
1) The Colorado GOP, already in bad shape, will likely be further fractured by a tough primary to replace Allard, with the likes of Scott McInnis, Tom Tancredo, Bill Owens, Bob Schaffer, Bob Beauprez, John Suthers, and even John Elway looking at this race.
2) Democrat Mark Udall will be in the driver's seat with the wind at his back. Between the fractured GOP, his already healthy fundraising, his popularity, the fact that it's an open seat, the fact that Colorado is trending blue, and the fact that Denver is hosting the DNC in 2008, Udall is in very good shape.
3) Given how Allard pointed primarily to his term limits pledge, and the integrity attached to keeping that pledge, what impact will this have on Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, who like Allard was also first elected in 1996 on a two-terms-and-out pledge? Can we use Allard's comments to illustrate how Collins, by running for a third term, is breaking a promise to voters and lacking integrity?
UPDATE (4:25pm): Tom Tancredo, it looks like, will not run for the Senate and is, instead, getting behind Scott McInnis' effort.