Friday, January 8, 2010

Coordination without conspiracy

To me, one of the most interesting aspects of the Democrats' attempt to find a new Colorado gubernatorial nominee is the spontaneous emergence of a pecking order among candidates.  None of the candidates seems to want a primary, so they all just lined up in approximate order of declining electability.  Everyone deferred to Salazar, who declined, and so now Hickenlooper has the next right of refusal.  If he declines, the torch passes to Perlmutter, etc.  Of course, this may break down at some point, but so far it's been remarkably civil and useful.

Furthermore, there's no evidence this is being orchestrated by anyone.  My grad school advisor liked to talk about obvious coordination points.  Like, if two people needed to meet in New York City, but they didn't know where specifically, they'd be very likely to both show up at the top of the Empire State Building.  So far, the coordination points in Colorado Democratic politics have been pretty obvious.


Robert said...

Doesn't the fact that Salazar endorsed Hickenlooper indicate that there has been coordination? I can't imagine Salazar would say that if he hadn't already talked with Hickenlooper and others and gotten the go-ahead to anoint a candidate.

Seth said...

Not necessarily. Hick could still say no, in which case Salazar will promptly praise the next guy. I think it's still a situation of deference rather than coordination. Hickenlooper said very flattering things about Salazar when the latter was the presumed candidate, so Salazar was probably just returning the favor.