From the piece:
"I would say that I think Congresswoman Musgrave is a lot more visible than what she was given credit for even previous to 2007," said Dick Wadhams, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. "I think she worked hard before this, but I also would concede that she does seem to be at least having more visible events in the district."
Both sides believe it's good for more constituents to hear Musgrave's beliefs, so more people will know where Musgrave stands -- a good thing to her staff, who believe most people in the region agree with her, and a good thing from the perspective of Democrats, who believe most people don't.
While her beliefs have stayed consistent, her work with Democrats has been mostly friendly this year. She's appeared on more than one occasion with Udall, the U.S. representative and Democratic Senate candidate from a town outside that liberal bastion, Boulder. She has bucked other members of her party and joined with U.S. Rep. John Salazar, another Democrat, to oppose the U.S. Army's stalled plan to expand its training site in southern Colorado, inside Musgrave's district.
Musgrave said at a meeting last month that she's always worked well with Democrats; the media just never focused on it, so she took matters into her own hands. To that end, her staff started a newsletter in February called "Bi-Partisanship Works."
The e-newsletter, sent by Musgrave's communications director Aaron Johnson, highlights work she is doing with the other side. The first e-mail went out Feb. 9, and similar newsletters have followed about once a week.
One could argue, however, that many of her bipartisan actions are things that can hardly be called controversial. For instance, Musgrave recently joined the Congressional Bike Caucus.
Other bi-partisan actions have been more controversial, however. Musgrave caused a stir in the delegation with her opposition to the Army's plans to expand its training site at Piñon Canyon in southern Colorado, which led to nasty comments by U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, a friend of Musgrave's.
Even more obvious than the newsletter has been Musgrave's renewed focus on her constituents, which includes photo-ops like pumping gas and pouring coffee, but also attempts at substantive events like "listening sessions" on the local economy and the farm bill, among other topics.
Good for Musgrave for working hard to re-brand herself, while still sticking up for conservative values. These sort of news stories will go a long way toward Musgrave's upcoming re-election campaign.