If you’re looking forward to the inauguration of Colorado’s newest statewide leaders on Tuesday, you’ve got another shindig to add to your calendar. The traditional inauguration festivities have the governor sworn-in along with the rest of the statewide elected officials in one big ceremony. It’s been done this way for years, and as tradition has it, normally only the new governor – in this case Democrat Bill Ritter – gives the speech.

But Republican Mike Coffman apparently didn’t like the idea that the spotlight wouldn’t be coming near him on Tuesday, so he flipped the middle finger at tradition and scheduled his own swearing-in ceremony to take place two hours before the real one. As the Rocky Mountain News reported:

Colorado’s newest secretary of state will be sworn into office next week two hours before the other statewide officers.
Republican Mike Coffman said he decided to hold a separate swearing-in ceremony so he could make a speech and address his staff.

Traditionally, statewide officers – governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer and secretary of state – are sworn in one after another on the west steps of the state Capitol.

“Initially, they said they were going to let us speak, but then they decided against that, so I just thought, ‘I’ll do my own thing,’ ” Coffman said Wednesday…

…”It’s not a big deal,” he said. “This will be the third time for me, and that day really belongs to the governor.”

If it’s not a big deal, as Coffman hopes you believe, then why doesn’t he do the honorable thing and stick with the program? Scheduling your own ceremony and bucking tradition is a classless act that reeks of self-importance, and it makes Coffman look silly and petty. He says that he scheduled his own ceremony because they wouldn’t let him speak – the reason the new secretary of state doesn’t usually speak is because nobody cares what they have to say. The fact that Coffman thinks he needs his own platform shows that he wants to be a bigger deal than he really is, and it sure is a classless way to start off your term. Coffman even scheduled his own private party opposite the inaugural ball, because he apparently didn’t think having his own inauguration ceremony made him look petulant enough.

Coffman wanted to run for governor in 2006 and was briefly a candidate before Bob Beauprez brushed him aside, but perhaps he needs some reaffirmation about what ended up happening. You’re not the governor, and pretending like you are doesn’t change a thing.