Meet Dick Wadhams, the Colorado Republican state party chair and the man trying to deal with Colorado’s Republican Senate and gubernatorial candidates’ recent gaffapalooza.
You may remember Wadhams. He made a name for himself by helping John Thune upset then-minority leader Tom Daschle in 2004. He managed successful campaigns for Sen. Wayne Allard and Gov. Bill Owens in Colorado, and Conrad Burns in Montana. In 2005, Slate dubbed him Karl Rove’s “heir apparent.”
Since then, it’s been just about all downhill. Wadhams served as chief of staff and campaign manager for George Allen, who went on to “macaca” fame. In 2008, he managed Bob Schafer’s doomed Senate run in Colorado, while also serving as the state’s GOP party chair. The state went to Obama.
In recent weeks, Wadhams has had to watch all four of his party’s major primary contenders commit serious mistakes on their way to the August 10 primaries. Now, Tom Tancredo is after him, and a new website dedicated to his ouster has been launched.
Not good. So, why do I say this couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy? If you’re interested, I recommend this Slate magazine article on Wadhams, which explains his “pit bull” reputation, his “slash-and-burn reputation,” his accusation that Tom Daschle “emboldened Saddam Hussein,” attacking Daschle’s wife, etc., etc. There’s also Wadhams’ work with James Dale Guckert, aka “Jeff Gannon,” the fake White House “reporter” who turned out to be a gay male “escort” under the professional name “Bulldog.” And, bringing it home to Virginia, there’s Wadhams’ disgraceful 2006 U.S. Senate campaign, in which he helped orchestrate attacks on Jim Webb’s acclaimed Vietnam War novels as pornographic. Wadhams justified those attacks, saying, “Webb continually refers to himself as a writer. That’s the main thrust of his professional life… so his writings should be subject to scrutiny by the public. … Webb is the one that wrote those words – we didn’t.”
Fortunately, the public rejected Wadhams’ despicable tactics in 2006. Now, in 2010, virulent racist and all-around lunatic Tom Tancredo is after him. Now, normally, I wouldn’t wish such a fate on my worst enemy. But in this case, and given Wadhams’ heinous past behavior (including in 2006 right here in Virginia) it’s very hard to resist the temptation to conclude that this couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy…