Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Hickenlooper Gets Up and Starts Running

John Hickenlooper appears to have acquired his footing and may have actually started to run for the Senate. After a disastrous three weeks of stumbles with an ethics violation charge and weak debate performances, the Democratic establishment and his campaign have started an offensive.

A Cascade of Missteps
Hickenlooper received a high-profile endorsement from Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic Party’s leading progressive and on the shortlist for vice president, which points out that the Washington establishment believes the critical issue is not insider progressive politics, but winning a majority of the U.S. Senate. A major blow to Andrew Romanoff, who is campaigning on the need for a progressive like him to be the nominee even if it increases the risk for the November election.

A significant amount of advertising has started in support of Hickenlooper from the PAC associated with his Washington, D.C. and other supporters. An independent expenditure media campaign attacking Romanoff has also begun.

And, the state’s Democratic establishment, including Governor Polis, who has been neutral to this point, but also Attorney General Phil Weiser and other Democratic officeholders, weighed in on the negative ad produced and placed by the Romanoff campaign attacking Hickenlooper on the ethics issue. The line repeated most often was from well-respected Democratic Party leader, Alan Salazar. As a recent AP story reported:

“Hickenlooper’s supporters say the goodwill he built up during two terms as Denver mayor and two more as governor will get him through. ‘He is many things, but personally corrupt and racially insensitive are definitely not among his flaws,’ said Alan Salazar, a former aide. ‘I am pretty sure the most Colorado voters know that.’”

This recovery effort is late. And many of the voters are new Democrats and mostly unaffiliated who did not vote in Hickenlooper’s 2014 election. They liked Bernie Sanders in the March presidential primary and they are up for grabs today.

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