Politics & Policy

Maes Promises a ‘Little Surprise’

And by “little,” Dan Maes probably means “big.”

In a Q&A on his campaign’s financial prospects following an address to the Colorado GOP’s executive committee, Maes alluded to a potential boost to the flagging campaign: “I think we’ve maybe got a little surprise for you on Thursday that’s gonna help. You’re going to like this one.”

What the “little surprise” is is anyone’s guess.

Game-changing endorsement? Sarah Palin is probably the first name to spring to everyone’s mind, and would likely top the list of potential endorsers who could have a significant impact on the race. Maes campaigned as the “grassroots” candidate and won early support from elements of Colorado’s Tea Party and liberty movement.

Big-time campaign-staff upgrade? Maes has eschewed the normal requirements of a formal campaign and elected not to retain a high-profile (and high-priced) campaign manager.

Nate Strauch told Battle ‘10 that the Maes campaign had no comment on the statement made by the candidate.

If the announced “surprise” does pan out, it is clear Maes and his campaign hope to steer the narrative away from lingering questions about his campaign and the loss of support from his own party at the state and national levels.

Several prominent Colorado Republicans announced their endorsement of former Republican Tom Tancredo, who bolted from the party in July to run as a candidate on the American Constitution Party ticket. Tancredo vows to attend each of the debates scheduled between Maes and Democrat John Hickenlooper, whether he is invited or not.

The Republican Governors Association has pulled out of Colorado, citing a fiduciary agreement to the fund’s donors and questions of candidate viability, according to RGA Chair Gov. Haley Barbour:

“We are for whomever the Republicans of the state nominate. They don’t have to nominate who Haley Barbour is for,” the governor said in response to a question posed by TPM about Maes’ problems.

“At the same time, we practice what I call ruthless targeting. When we raise money from people in good faith, our good faith pledge to them is we’re going to use it where it puts lead on the target,” Barbour said. “We don’t pay for sure winners, we don’t give to sure losers.”

Barbour didn’t say which he thought Maes is, but told TPM: “In Colorado we have to look at how does it develop, but you can read as poll as easily, maybe better than I can.”

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