Tales from the Trail

Romney touts tourism in fire-ravaged Colorado

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a message for what Americans can do to help a section of Colorado hit hard by recent wildfires – come to the state on vacation to help out the local economy.

Romney’s point, made during a visit to a food bank that has been supplying people uprooted by the wildfires, was that most of the region has been unaffected by the devastation and that the forests and lakes remain as beautiful as ever.

“What’s happened is people are staying away because they think the whole area has been burned out. It’s not. It’s as beautiful as it’s always been and tourists need to come back and stay in hotels, go to restaurants and purchase local merchandise,” he said.

Romney visited the Care and Share food bank and made a show of helping local volunteers sort through boxes of food and check to see if any of the food had expired.

The former Massachusetts governor spent all day in Colorado, hoping to convince enough voters to get behind him in a battleground state that President Barack Obama won in 2008.

Santorum seeks “strong showing” in two caucuses and a primary

Mitt Romney may have secured frontrunner status in the race for the Republican presidential nominee to take on Democrat Barack Obama in the general election –  but don’t count Rick Santorum out.

The former Pennsylavania senator has not won a Republican  nominating contest since he edged Romney in the Iowa caucuses. And the  “frontrunner” title briefly held by other  Romney rivals  has eluded Santorum.

But he’s still  standing and apparently planning on  sticking around for a bit longer –  even if he doesn’t pick up a triple win in two  caucuses (Colorado,  Minnesota)  and a primary (Missouri) on Tuesday.

Reuters-Ipsos Poll: Democrat closing gap in Colorado Senate race

The Senate race in Colorado is almost neck-and-neck, with Democrat Michael Bennet closing in on Republican Ken Buck and narrowing his lead to 3 points, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll.

But the enthusiasm gap favors Republicans, with 72 percent saying they are certain to vote in the Nov. 2 midterm elections compared with 55 percent of Democrats.

USA-POLITICS/The Senate contest pits Bennet, who was appointed to the seat vacated by Ken Salazar when he became President Barack Obama’s Interior Secretary, and Buck, who is backed by the conservative Tea Party movement.

Washington Extra – Foot in mouth

alan_simpsonSuggestion of the day. Encourage top officials to undertake some basic training in what to say and write in public. Specifically, try and avoid insulting and tactless remarks in print, on camera, in public or in front of journalists.

Alan Simpson, the Republican co-chairman of the president’s deficit commission, has a reputation for blunt speaking, but obviously was not paying much attention when Gen. Stanley McChrystal lost his job earlier this year. Simpson has already apologized for his email, to the executive director of the Older Women’s League, in which he compared the handing out of government retirement benefits to “milking a cow with 310 million tits.”

“When I make a mistake,” Simpson said, “it’s a doozy.” Which at least got me consulting the online dictionary. Nevertheless, there have already been calls for him to fall on his sword.

Obama joins call-in to back his pick in Colorado primary

President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged people in Colorado to support his pick to run for U.S. Senate in their state, jumping into a close Democratic  primary race in which the other  candidate is  backed by former President Bill Clinton.obama_bennet

Obama has put his weight behind current Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, who was appointed to take over the seat vacated by Ken Salazar, whom Obama selected to be secretary of the Interior at the beginning of his term.

“He’s been a breath of fresh air in a town with a lot of hot air,” Obama told a telephone conference call with Bennet and listeners, who quizzed the freshman Senator about the attack ads he has endured. Obama said this was par for the course in politics.

McCain, in final rally, predicts late night

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Republican presidential candidate John McCain predicted a late night on Tuesday during a final rally in Colorado where he sought to spur voters to the polls.

“We’re going to be up late tonight,” he told an enthusiastic crowd at an airport hangar in this battleground western state. “I feel the momentum, I feel it and you feel it and we’re going to win this election. We’re going to win it.”

McCain trails Democratic rival Barack Obama in opinion polls, but his aides said tightening in Colorado prompted the election day stopover.

Weather looks good for most of U.S. on Election Day

WASHINGTON – Election Day is finally here, the final opinion polls are in and now it’s time for Americans to make their way to the voting booth — but will weather be a factor?

According to the latest forecast maps, most of the country will not have adverse weather conditions, but there could be rain showers in two battleground states.

Good weather historically has helped Democrats.

Virginia, which has voted Republican since 1964, is now a toss-up state between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama and will likely see showers most of the day stretching from Newport News north to the suburbs outside Washington, D.C., and west toward Roanoke.