September 28 2009, 11:57 AM
Andrew Romanoff, the former state House speaker challenging Democrat Michael Bennet in the 2010 primary for U.S. Senate, recently received a call from one of the most powerful men in the White House, President Barack Obama's deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina. Before Romanoff formally announced his Senate campaign, Messina suggested there could be a place in the administration for Romanoff, such as a job at USAID, the foreign aid agency. The idea, it appeared, was to get Romanoff out of Bennet's way, but Romanoff declined the opportunity, according to The Denver Post. When Romanoff announced his campaign, Obama endorsed Bennet, an indication, the Post notes, that the Obama White House may try to shape Democratic politics just as Karl Rove did for the GOP during the Bush administration. Yet the White House flatly denies ever offering Romanoff a job, despite several of Colorado's top Democrats' anonymous allegations. Romanoff avoids discussing the details in an interview with 9News, saying only that "this race isn't about my job at all. It's about yours and the millions of other Coloradans who want to make sure they've got a good job to go to when they get up in the morning." Meanwhile, a new poll by the Colorado Policy Institute, whose Republican ties were called into question last week, shows Bennet with a 14-point lead over Romanoff (via The Hill). Yet, that should be close enough to make Bennet at least worry.