Friday, November 20, 2020

Hickenlooper: Lucky or Colorado’s Most Formidable Politician or Both?

A debate on John Hickenlooper’s extraordinary career was launched when I observed he had some great luck in his long run that has propelled him from a restaurant owner to the U.S. Senate, especially when the next step wasn’t clear. As he neared the end of his term as Denver mayor, Governor Bill Ritter dropped out of running for a second term, handing it to Hickenlooper without a primary, who then faced a self-destructing Republican Party with Tom Tancredo, an independent, and Dan Maes, an unknown Republican nominee. After a failed and mostly ignored run for president, Hickenlooper was handed the frontrunner position in the Senate nomination and election in a very good Democratic year.

Hickenlooper has demonstrated his resilience and the strength of his Colorado reputation in the face of a multi-million dollar onslaught of attack advertising. And, he showed persistence on staying with his strategy of low engagement with Cory Gardner and focusing on health care with attacks on Gardner’s and Trump’s relationship. But 2020 will be seen as the year of the anti-Trump moderate in Colorado, and Hickenlooper was out of work at the right time in the right place.

His friend, Alan Salazar, says: “I think you make your luck.” Hickenlooper’s exceptional run since 2003 has both luck and talent. And regardless if mostly luck or talent, John Hickenlooper is likely to be representing Colorado for a very long time.

Read: John Hickenlooper’s Lucky Streak Continues

Newly elected to Colorado Senate, John Hickenlooper |
Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

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