Some accompanying observations:
Such public support for a successor (Bill Owens, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and incumbent Bob Beauprez himself have also all backed O'Donnell's candidacy) makes it nearly impossible for Beauprez to back out of the Governors race in 2006, insures that the 7th CD will be an open race, and squelches any hope Mark Paschall, Jefferson County's maverick Republican county treasurer, has of winning in a Republican primary.
Dick Cheney is not out of the woods in Plamegate yet. His top aide is widely expected to be indicted this week. A Marine assigned to his office engaged in espionage for the Phillipines from Cheney's office. The fact that Cheney provided information that was later leaked to the press by Scooter Libby about a CIA covert agent was not itself culpable -- government employees with top security clearances are allowed to talk to each other about such things. But, if Cheney himself intentionally used Libby to leak the information, or if he was involved in the coverup, an endorsement from Cheney could do more harm than good. I would hope that Democratic operatives have saved some pictures of Cheney with O'Donnell just in case they become useful.
While no one Democrat in the race has raised more funds than O'Donnell and the Cheney visit will certainly help his war chest, as of the end of September, the Democrats combined had outraised O'Donnell, the only Republican officially in the race at this point. This is not the kind of financial dominance that Republicans have grown to rely upon to win races.
As of the last campaign filings, O'Donnell had raised $420,000. Two Democratic candidates, former state Sen. Ed Perlmutter and former state Rep. Peggy Lamm, have collected $316,935 and $182,011, respectively.
Finally, it is notable how few politicans in the United States do have traffic snarling ability. Senators Ken Salazar and Wayne Allard don't, and neither does Governor Bill Owens. Even visits from cabinet secretaries, who are in the line of succession, don't have that effect. Bush, Cheney and foreign heads of state are just about the only people in the nation capable doing so. Unfortunately, they seem to visit Colorado quite often. Colorado doesn't have a lot of purple fingers, but it is a purple state.