No sooner had Hot Sheet taken note of Colorado Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s feature-length profile by Politico this week — depicting him as a pol who can work both sides of the aisle while keeping the White House at bay — than Gardner’s own communications staff sent this press release over the transom:
Washington, DC – The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) today announced Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) has been awarded their Legislative Action Award. The awards are presented annually to members of Congress within their first six years in office who work to build consensus, elevate the tenor of the debate, practice civility, and advance legislation on pressing issues.
The organization’s president, Jason Grumet, was quoted:
“Senator Cory Gardner demonstrates the power of strong principles combined with a willingness to reach across the political aisle on issues of consequence to the nation. … On matters as diverse and important as immigration, cybersecurity, and the threat from North Korea, Senator Gardner’s primary focus has been on action and results. He is at once a proud member of his party and an effective legislator who places the interests of the country first.”
Quite a tribute — and one of obvious value to Team Gardner these days. As noted in the Politico story on the senator published Monday, “Gardner is going to need bipartisan accomplishments to survive his own swing-state reelection race in 2020.”
And he certainly is a swing-state GOP senator who has felt the heat of near constant scrutiny, especially since Donald Trump’s upset victory in November 2016. Gardner’s every vote, policy position and public utterance are being dissected and analyzed in an attempt to label him “too extreme for Colorado” as his 2020 re-election bid approaches. So, a plaudit attesting to Gardner’s bipartisan bona fides couldn’t come at a better time.
The Bipartisan Policy Center is a centrist think tank in Washington, D.C., founded in 2007 by four former Senate majority leaders — two from each party: Republicans Howard Baker and Bob Dole, and Democrats Tom Daschle and George Mitchell.