November 24, 2015

Is Michael Bennet Hiding From Hillary?

Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Colorado today and so far it’s been crickets from her supposed “leadership council” member, Sen. Michael Bennet. He skipped her Boulder rally, where she was accompanied by Bennet’s former Democratic senate colleague Mark Udall, and it remains to be seen if he’ll show up in Denver.

Deciding whether to appear with Clinton puts Bennet is between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, Bennet’s poll numbers show he needs help shoring up the Democratic base – the latest Quinnipiac poll has him running over 20 points behind Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who recently suggested that Bennet may need to ride Clinton’s “coattails” to reelection. He’s even been floated as a potential vice presidential pick, should Clinton secure the nomination.

On the other hand, the only Democratic politician who has worse poll numbers in the state than Bennet is Clinton. Quinnipiac had her approval rating at 31 percent, compared to 37 percent for Bennet, so bolstering his image with die-hard liberals may not be worth the hit he’d take among Independent voters by appearing with the deeply unpopular and polarizing Clinton.

The situation is even more politically perilous for Bennet when you throw in the pro-single payer healthcare activists that were out in force in Boulder – he’s been dodging the issue for weeks – and the potential that President Obama’s plan to move Guantanamo Bay terrorists to Colorado – an issue he’s got a problematic record on – will come up.

So which will Sen. Bennet choose? Coloradans won’t have to wait long to find out – Clinton’s Denver event starts at 3:00 pm local time.