My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


RMAB With Mac Holtzman

I, along with Joshua and Ben, had the opportunity to sit down this afternoon with Republican Gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman.

First things first, a huge debt of gratitude to Annie and Laura, who made this event happen. And to Marc Holtzman, who was very engaged with we "pajamahudeen," and EXTREMELY generous with his time.

It will take me some time to let all of the candidates' views congeal into a coherent narrative to write about, so I won't even attempt at this pass, to say much about the content of the interview. But rather, I should prefer to pass along some impressions of the candidate and the campaign.

The first impression Marc Holtzman makes--and today was the first time I've ever met the man--is that of a person engaged in something he feels very passionate about. The way he listens to every question, the depth of thought he's put into every issue, and the enthusiasm with which he conveys his beliefs are quite engaging. The first topic of conversation was, of course, the passage of Referendum C, and what it would mean to a potential Holtzman administration. And I was impressed with the depth of knowledge Holtzman brings to the table with regard to state finances, with regard to asset management, and his understanding of a variety of models currently in practice around the world of how to do government better. At several points, he even tried to cut himself off from getting too in-depth into the minutae. In that regard, there were points of the conversation that felt as much like graduate seminar as candidate interview.

And that level of enthusiasm carried over into every topic of conversation, not just finance. It is very clear that this is a man not content with reading bullet points and spewing simple answers. He truly seems to bring to every issue an energy borne of a deep passion.

The other overwhelming impression I came away with today was of the professionalism of the campaign operation. Laura Teal sat in on the whole meeting, and filled in a lot of the information about the nuts and bolts of the campaign, and I have to say I'm impressed with where they are at. If I didn't have a calendar, walking in and looking at the set up would make me believe that they were entering the last six months of a campaign, rather than being one year out.

If the campaign is as effective at highlighting the natural strengths of Marc Holtzman as it seems to be, this could a formidable candidacy.

Not to seem like this is just a love letter, I think a couple points need to be made. Holtzman seems to understand very well, and be realistic about, his underdog status; he seems to almost embrace it. And I also think that the campaign has decided to target the traditional GOP base, trying to capitalize on some of the frustrations of the Colorado GOP. It will be interesting to watch that play out this time around: Bob Schaffer played the same strategy two years ago, and the party sent instead a more "centrist" who couldn't explain himself and eventually got beaten. Perhaps the party will be more inclined to run a conservative this time around.

In fairness, I am (was) inclined toward Bob Beauprez in this race, more out of a loyalty to a man I've worked for on two campaigns than anything else. But I am now strongly reconsidering, though it's WAY too early to talk endorsements yet.

What I do know is that Marc Holtzman is impressive. But don't take my word for it--check out his website for dates and times of local events, and go listen to the man. He is talking about things that nobody else is talking about, and saying things that nobody else has the courage to say.

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