Terry Goddard Wants to Be AG Again? Puh-lease
Goddard has been dodging me of late, not returning my calls. That's okay, Terry. People in your circle tell me you want to restore honor to an AG's office that has been severely tainted by Republican Attorney General Tom Horne.
I suspect Horne's current troubles have made him appear, in the eyes of many Rs and Ds, very beatable.
Politically, Horne is "dead man walkin'." And if Goddard wants to navigate a return to high public office, running for AG again must seem like donning an old catcher's mitt. Familiar, easy.
FOTs, "Friends of Terry," roll their eyes, and explain that they're afraid to tell Goddard the truth.
So let me do it for them.
Currently, you enjoy a fairly good rep with your fellow Ds, Terry. They like you, despite your faults, despite your inability to be tough on Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Despite your lackluster skills as a campaigner for guv.
But if you persist in this folly, you will alienate a large number of Dems for whom Felecia Rotellini, Horne's general election rival in 2010, is a rising star. She appeals to both GOPers and Dems. And she is as tough as titanium.
In 2010, in a year where Dems were being clobbered in Arizona and throughout the nation, Rotellini came dangerously close to denying Horne the AG's office, losing by a tantalizing 63,298 votes statewide, 48 percent to Horne's 52 percent.
Rotellini scored more votes than Goddard statewide: 807,185 to Goddard's 733,935. And her race was closer than Goddard's. Brewer skunked Goddard by 12 points, 56 to 44 percent, leaving him in the dust by pulling in 205,000 more votes than he garnered.
Any way you cut it, Rotellini is more popular than Goddard, and more effective. And many Dems think she was cheated out of a win because of alleged coordination between Horne and an independent expenditure committee run by Horne's outreach director Kathleen Winn.
The former superintendent of Arizona's banking department, Rotellini is a generation behind Goddard and appeals to a younger demographic. She's already signaled her interest in running again for the AG spot, so why is Goddard shamelessly determined to go a-poaching?
I asked Rotellini what she thought of Goddard's apparent desire to give her a primary. Always the class act, she got back to me with the following statement:
"I am looking hard at running for Attorney General. I have a great deal of respect for Terry Goddard. If I'm a candidate, I hope he will be standing by my side. If it so happens that we are both candidates, then the primary voters get to choose between us."