Meet the New Boebert: Same as the Old Boebert

Enough of this, thanks.

We expect to hear today that the MANDATORY recount in CO-03 has finally concluded. Barring some really unforeseen and inexplicable developments, incumbent Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert will indeed win re-election over Democratic challenger Adam Frisch by somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 votes.

Understanding that recounts rarely move more than a couple of votes in any one direction, Frisch conceded to Boebert weeks ago and has already filed paperwork to run again in 2024. The only remaining mystery here is about whether Boebert — who now finds herself in the majority in the House of Representatives — will change her stripes after nearly losing re-election in a beet-red Republican district that went for Donald Trump by 9 points in 2020. As The Denver Post wrote on Nov. 11, “Boebert was her own worst enemy.”

Boebert SHOULD have learned an invaluable lesson from 2022. She SHOULD do things differently in her next term if she wants to avoid a repeat of 2022, but will she? Conrad Swanson of The Denver Post posed just this question over the weekend:

Now that the far-right congresswoman is heading into a likely second term in office, the question nagging political experts who spoke to The Denver Post is whether she’ll tone down her incendiary and sometimes even dangerous rhetoric.

Probably not, they say…[Pols emphasis]

…Representatives for Boebert, of Silt, did not respond to a request for comment, but some of the congresswoman’s recent remarks seem to indicate that she has no intention of changing tact.

Boebert and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl received sharp criticism of their anti-LGBTQ stances last month after a gunman walked into a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs and opened fire, killing five and injuring 22.

The congresswoman defended her repeated anti-LGBTQ comments just a few days after the shooting during a conversation with conservative radio host Ross Kaminsky.

Despite what you might hear outside of your local Boot Barn, Colorado voters widely rejected Republicans in 2022 because they didn’t want to see right-wing extremists put in charge of anything. The editorial board of The Denver Post literally begged Colorado voters not to re-elect Boebert. The Post has since kept up its criticism of Boebert, including her comments related to the “Club Q” shootings in Colorado Springs.

As Swanson notes, those comments were par for the course where Boebert is concerned:

Boebert also took flak during her first term for calling women “weaker” than men, saying she’s “tired of this separation of church and state junk,” and for her Islamophobic comments implying that Democratic U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar might be a terrorist.

“The combination of nearly losing her seat and now being in the majority could cause (Boebert) to rethink her approach,” Seth Masket, a political scientist at the University of Denver, said. “On the other hand, it’s not clear that she has a lower gear to shift into.” [Pols emphasis]

Lauren Boebert’s “not totally confident” face on Election Night 2022.

Swanson talks to other experts around the country who note the same issue we’ve mentioned many times in this space before: Boebert uses her bombastic rhetoric to raise money from small-dollar contributors nationwide, but that same rhetoric gets exhausting to voters within the boundaries of CO-03. It’s a catch-22 of sorts for Boebert, whose “base” consists of national Q-anon nutters who are not quite so prevalent here in Colorado.

These comments reflect what multiple news stories revealed in the aftermath of the mid-term election, Boebert’s brand of angry performative politics is about as popular as skiing in jeans in Colorado.

As Colorado Public Radio reported in late November:

“We all thought it was going to be a very, very easy win for Lauren,” said Robert Leverington, chairman of the Republican Party in Pueblo County. But he acknowledged that Boebert’s controversial brand of politics has soured some supporters…

…“But over the last two years we’ve watched her become a little bit more arrogant and condescending, and it kind of highlights her youth and immaturity. And I think that’s turned off a lot of voters.”

He said he told her campaign several months ago that he thought Boebert came across as “preachy” in some speeches.

“I don’t think they ever conveyed that to her because she never stopped,” he said. “She just seemed tone-deaf.”

Boebert apparently knows that she SHOULD dial it back and try to be more of a normal person, and to that extend, she’s PRETENDING to have gotten the message. Check out this message she Tweeted out today that included a blurry video that we won’t bother linking:


Sounds nice, right? Here’s what Boebert Tweeted literally a few hours earlier:

This is nothing new for Boebert.

She sounded a more conciliatory tone in an Op-Ed on November 17, 2022. A few days later, Boebert was back to lauding talk of an investigation into Hunter Biden’s laptop. Boebert is also one of the few people on the planet still defending “Ye” (the artist formerly known as Kanye West) after his numerous anti-semitic diatribes in recent weeks.

There’s more at stake here than just Boebert’s re-election in 2024. Boebert was the face of the Colorado Republican Party long before she nearly lost her seat in 2022, and that’s a problem for ALL Republicans in our state.

The important thing to watch at this point is whether Boebert ever actually STICKS to her talk about “lowering the temperature” in partisan politics. What she’s doing now is trying to throw out a few one-liners in hopes that media outlets run with the narrative of a “New Boebert” long enough for her to stop pretending.

People can change. Sometimes they really do. But Boebert has not yet earned the benefit of the doubt merely by muttering a few less-inflammatory things from time to time.

Boebert played her role of the gun-toting, sharp-tongued outsider all the way to a Republican Primary upset in 2020 and a narrow re-election victory in 2022. It was the right shtick for her at the right time. But does she have a different act?

We certainly wouldn’t bet on it.

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