Saturday, October 13, 2012

So Now, He's "All In"?

Every so often, Brian Sandoval reemerges to remind us all that he's "a contender". Never mind that he's continually snubbed by his own party. He still desperately wants to be seen as "a player" on the national G-O-TEA stage. This is why he's now swooping in to try to rescue Team Nevada... From themselves.

Sandoval will be the honorary chairman of Team Nevada, the joint effort by Republican campaigns, Sandoval confirmed on Thursday night.

"I will continue to do all I can to elect Republicans," Sandoval said. The governor's new role with the Republican campaigns was first reported by Jon Ralston this week.

Sandoval urged a room of about 100 people in Reno on Thursday night to volunteer.

"We have momentum. It's a dead heat right now," he said before the debate between Rep. Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden. "It will take all of us knocking on doors."

Team Nevada and Sandoval's political adviser, Mike Slanker, would not confirm the governor's role on Friday or explain how he would be utilized by the campaign.

Sandoval spoke in Tampa, Fla., at the Republican National Convention and has helped GOP candidates raise money. But Sandoval, who endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry early in the Republican presidential nomination process, has not taken a highly visible role as a surrogate Mitt Romney. He has also distanced himself from the Nevada Republican Party, which has been taken over by backers of Rep. Ron Paul. That fracture was what prompted the campaigns to form Team Nevada as the primary campaign function.

As is often the case with Team Nevada, this looks to be (yet another) case of them rushing to the media to save face. With only a week left until early voting begins and 25 days left until "Official Election Day", what can Brian Sandoval do now for Team Nevada? Oh yes, he can help them spin the media away from their voter registration fraud scandal, and from their complete failure in keeping up with Nevada Democrats in the field.

Still, that can only help Team Nevada so much. As Jon Ralston explained yesterday, the actual scene for Nevada Republicans may be worse than what we see now in the bulk of the public polls. They're in a real bind now, and there's not much left for them to do.

So of course, Team Nevada operatives rope Governor Sandoval into making a few more public appearances with them. But really, don't be fooled by the spin. If Sandoval really felt good about Romney's chances here, he would have done more for him earlier. And if Team Nevada were really in such a great position to rescue Romney and Dean Heller, they wouldn't be making such desperate moves now.

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