Opinion: A Colorado Republican mistakenly touts an Alaskan landmark


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‘Colorado is my life,’ Republican candidate Bob Schaffer assured the state’s voters this week in his inaugural television ad in what likely will be one of the nation’s key Senate races. Striding toward the camera in the creatively produced spot, he proudly noted that he proposed to his wife ‘on top of Pike’s Peak.’

Just one problem. The landscape looming behind him was Alaska’s Mt. McKinley (at left, as photographed by Ansel Adams).

The website (where the ad can be viewed) broke the news of the foulup on Wednesday. And other Colorado media outlets quickly jumped into the fray.


The Denver Post’s political blog, in an item headlined ‘Name that mountain,’ reported that a ‘frustrated Dick Wadhams, Schaffer’s campaign manager, conceded the mistake and said the ad would be pulled and re-edited with Colorado mountains.’

The Rocky Mountain News wrote about it in a story headlined, ‘Schaffer’s ad moved mountains.’ And the piece in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel was topped: ‘Schaffer might have an early climb in race after ad goof.’

Some folks -- including operatives at the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee in Washington, who get paid to exaggerate -- have called the mishap Schaffer’s ‘Mt. Macaca Moment,’ a reference to ...

the ethnic slur by Republican Sen. George Allen of Virginia that sank his 2006 reelection bid (and in the process gave Democrats their one-seat Senate majority).

The ad flap is nothing of the sort, of course. But early polling suggests Schaffer’s general election faceoff with Democrat Rep. Mark Udall for the Senate slot Republican Wayne Allard is vacating will be close. It is a seat both national parties will fight hard to win. So even minor stumbles can hurt.

-- Don Frederick