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EDITOR OF REDSTATE

Can Jane Norton Think For Herself?

Jane Norton is a nice lady. Don’t believe me? Ask Ken Buck. He has not been going around the campaign trail personally attacking Jane Norton, just pointing out policy differences. Despite the establishment talking points that those differences are minimal, if at all, they are actually quite big on a few big issues. On the paramount issue — who will be conservative before being a tool of the party — Norton fails.And now she is out to change that. Along the way though, she must overcome the perception that she can’t think for herself. And given this profile, that might be difficult.Throughout the profile, Norton keeps attacking Ken Buck based on his connections, his closet liberalism (nevermind he is a Jim DeMint style conservative), etc. But everytime she finishes, she has to ask her staff about it.

“I’m true to conservative principles, and we need people who will have broader appeal,” she said, glancing at staffer Cinamon Watson, sitting at a table nearby. “Cinamon, what else?”

In a telephone town hall later that day, Norton crouched in a Burlington motel room and took questions from more than 2,000 people who listened in. After responding, she often asked Penry — who was on the line from Denver — whether he could add anything.”

The dirty little secret in Washington is that most staffers are there to build their resumes, not fight for freedom. If Norton is relying this heavily now, she’ll only be worse in Washington.But there is more to it.Jane Norton is the John McCain picked, Washington GOP Establishment funded candidate for the Republican nomination in Colorado.She is Washington come to town. So her staff has hit on a novel strategy — surround herself with people the National Republican Senatorial Committee fought against.Yesterday, Jane Norton did a campaign event that also included Marco Rubio’s campaign and Pat Toomey’s campaign. Norton is trying to embrace them and claim the mantle of outsider — something she cannot do.Neither Rubio nor Toomey would have supported the largest tax hike in Colorado history, something Jane Norton did. And neither of these guys got John McCain or the NRSC’s love and affection.Oh, and neither Rubio nor Toomey would have skipped the grassroots Republican Assembly, which Jane Norton did after yet again listening to her staff.

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