Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Book: Hickenlooper as Vice President

John Hickenlooper has just published a book. It’s de rigueur for a politician trying to move up. Hickenlooper has been on lists for several years as a potential vice president prospect. Previously, he denied an interest in going to D.C., but since his re-election, Hickenlooper has been much more animated about a trip back East. And, it makes sense.

“I think the timing is absolutely related to the fact that he is ready to move,” said Floyd Ciruli, a Denver pollster mentioned in the book. “He is in a state that remains on most (swing state) lists. He’s popular. So he will certainly be useful to the ticket.” (Denver Post, John Frank, 5-23-16)

Hickenlooper going East:
  • He’s near the end of his term as governor. There is no senate seat available. The gubernatorial position in Colorado is constitutionally weak and Colorado government has been tied into a fiscal knot since the 1992 passage of tax limitation amendment, TABOR.
  • He likes politics and is pretty good at it. His regional approval rating is 61 percent. Since his 2003 political career started, Hickenlooper’s had good timing. He began as a type of non-politician, and it was an image that fits him and fits the public’s mood. He still benefits as an independent politician who will reach across the isle to get things done. A Democratic business moderate and social liberal is a niche position that has mostly worked in Colorado.
  • Although Hickenlooper might be compatible with Clinton, it’s not clear he brings much to the ticket. Colorado is a small state and Clinton’s main challenge has been her left, not the center of the party. In addition, the Democrats’ core constituents come out of its politics of race, ethnicity and sexual-identity.
  • But for its size, Colorado has produced a number of politicians who were major forces in the Democratic Party – Gary Hart in the 1980s, Roy Romer in the 1990s and Ken Salazar in the Obama era. Will Hickenlooper join them?
Hickenlooper’s new memoir: The Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics

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