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March 2, 2005
Dear Colorado, I Lied. Love, Ken

The Los Angeles Times reports today that the new Democratic Senator from Colorado, Ken Salazar, didn't take long to betray one of his "centrist" positions from his election campaign. After telling conservative Coloradans that he supported Bush's judicial nominees during his election, he now has sent a letter to Bush telling him to withdraw said nominees, including one Salazar pointedly said he would support:

Hopes that the Senate could rapidly confirm some troubled judicial nominations ran into a roadblock Tuesday when one of the moderate Democrats expected to support a vote by the full Senate on the nominees instead called on President Bush to withdraw the 10 candidates he resubmitted last month.

The move by Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), a newcomer to the Senate, surprised both sides in the rancorous debate and came just hours after the Senate Judiciary Committee held a second testy hearing for one of those nominees Idaho attorney William G. Myers III, whom Bush has tapped for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. ...

Salazar's initiative surprised even people who are intensely involved in the judicial nomination issue. As Colorado's attorney general, he signed a letter of support for Myers last year, as did a dozen other state attorney generals. After he was elected to the Senate, however, he told a Colorado newspaper that he would reevaluate the issue from his new perspective.

Salazar appears to have perfected the bait-and-switch so common to those who want to appeal to the center during a general election and then suck up to the money the rest of the time. (See Hillary Clinton as another example.) The Coloradans who voted for Salazar over the GOP's Pete Coors figured that the two didn't have much difference in policy and that Salazar had more experience. Perhaps they should have checked into Salazar's character a little more closely instead.

One can't fault the GOP votecounters for assuming Salazar would remain a man of his word. After all, Salazar was a Democrat when he took the overt action of writing a letter in support of Myers. He went out of his way to show support for a nominee that has unfairly been targeted as an extremist, as Salazar's letter shows. Now Salazar has to explain to Coloradans how he came to repudiate himself in such a short period of time. Either he has to say that he didn't look into Myers' record -- which makes his letter a demonstration of ignorance and incompetence -- or he has to own up to the fact that he caved under pressure from Harry Reid, making a mockery of his proclaimed independence.

Thanks to Colorado, we're stuck with Kaving Ken for another six years. The GOP should ignore anything Salazar has to offer from this point forward, as he's proven his word is unreliable.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 2, 2005 7:00 AM

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» Supreme Court Outrage from Mount Virtus
Captain Ed is reporting that our new Senator Ken Salazar is backing off his campaign promise to support the President's judicial nominees. Here is the issue with which Salazar, who has otherwise attempted to act in a bipartisan manner, has made himse... [Read More]

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» Senator Ken Salazar - faux centrist and LRB from The Key Monk
...The most important warning here? Hillary Clinton is doing the exact same thing. But she's running for a much more important office. [Read More]

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» Ken Salazar We Thought It Might Take Longer from A Bellandean! God, Country, Heritage
Now he's supporting the Democrat blockade of Bush nominees. I'm sure many of my fellow Colorado voters (me not included) believed that Coors and Salazar were essentially the same, with Salazar having more government experience so what could it harm t... [Read More]

Tracked on March 7, 2005 8:11 PM

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