March 7 2005, 8:36 PM
The Denver Post wrote Sunday about the fall of Governor Bill Owens. Two years ago he seemed primed for the national stage. Then, things changed. But is he really down and out?
After news in 2003 that the "family values" champion was separating from his wife came the trouncing of his statewide water referendum. Then followed a string of more crushing upsets in 2004 -- most notably, Republicans losing control of Colorado's House and Senate, bucking a trend of GOP wins elsewhere in the nation.
"He took his eye off the ball and failed to stay engaged with what was going on in the state," said Sen. Ron Teck, R-Grand Junction. "The wheels have come off his wagon.""Disengaged" is the word most frequently used now to describe the Governor. Since enough people around him apparently agree with that description, or else say he's "lost interest," it's fair to wonder why. Is it just his family problems? Or is it by extension, that he realized there is a limit to his career climb after the family values crash, and it's time to turn his sights on something else. Maybe Owens is thinking about private practice. Scott McInnis and Bill Ritter have joined Hogan and Hartson, the law firm whose Denver office is managed by Tom Strickland. The addition of the Governor to its partner roster would be impressive. Or, perhaps Brownstein, Farber, Hyatt et al. will make him an offer he can't refuse. I think he'd be an asset to either firm. The Post article even disses the Governor's personality:
Despite his 23 years in public office, Owens comes off as stiff and uncomfortable discussing much else besides politics and sports. Political observers have nicknamed him "Woody" after the do-gooder cowboy character in the movie "Toy Story."I'm not sure about that. I've only had a few conversations with Owens, one about John and Patsy Ramsey and one about his role at the Republican Convention this August, and both times he was spirited and friendly. It's only his politics I have a problem with, not his work ethic, his personality or his family values.