Colorado was blessed or cursed, depending on your perspective, to have a Trump incarnation running for Congress here–and that would be Lauren Boebert.
Like Trump, Boebert’s gift is PR, not policy.
It’s a hollow style of PR that you’d think would face plant at some point, but it worked well for Boebert, showing how the far-right media can power a right-wing candidate over a boring Republican like Scott Tipton and beyond.
The gun-carrying servers at Shooters Grill. The gun on Boebert’s own waist. The campaign photos with militia members. The staged confrontation with Beto. Her refusal to shut her restaurant to help fight COVID. Her fearless acceptance of QAnon. Her unmasked face.
It worked for landing on right-wing media, including underworld QAnon shows, which fueled her primary victory and nurtured her campaign throughout.
It didn’t matter that she straight-up refused to talk about her stances on the issues.
She repeatedly said there would be time for policy discussions later, at one point telling 9News’ Kyle Clark, “I’m going to have a lot of time to talk about policy and everything that’s going on.”
That was a smart tack for her to take. Can you imagine her talking about reinsurance? Or why she doesn’t think masks work to stop COVID. Or how to protect people with pre-existing conditions?
Democrats hoped Boebert’s manufactured persona would hit planned obsolescence in the presence of real-world journalists and voters.
All the Republicans and unaffiliated voters in Boebert’s conservative congressional district couldn’t possibly be watching Fox News and right-wing radio.
If they weren’t, they were primed for Boebert anyway. She prevailed over Diane Mitsch Bush not by the 12 points Trump won by in 2016, but by a comfortable six-point margin.
Her campaign was a spinning, winning spectacle.
Like Trump, she grabbed the cameras by walking on the edge of social acceptability and over the edge on stuntsmanship.
The right-wing loved it. And so did a lot of other voters.
And now she’s on her way to Congress.