A note in Politico playbook throws Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper a bit of favorable 2020 speculation, either as a presidential candidate or running against embattled Sen. Cory Gardner–thought probably not the article’s teaser:
SOME NEWS — We asked COLORADO GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER during a Playbook Exchange event here if he would run for the White House on a ticket with OHIO REPUBLICAN GOV. JOHN KASICH. He said: “I don’t think Kasich would ever do that … You never know. You never say. He’s an easy person to work with. He’s strongly opinionated. And quick to his opinion. But he also knows as much about the federal budget, and understands health care at a deeper level than almost any other governor I know. … I don’t think it’s in the cards. But I do like the idea of working with him in some context at some point.” The governor told us Trump has told him he’s taken notice of his appearances on TV.
— WILL HICKENLOOPER RUN AGAINST SEN. CORY GARDNER (R-COLO.)? He said he was “disappointed” with Gardner’s stance on health care. “That’s not the Cory Gardner I thought I knew.” Hickenlooper said he is “not ruling anything out.” When asked what he thinks about when he considers running for a seat in Washington, Hickenlooper joked, “I think why me? What did I do to hurt you?”
As readers know, Gov. Hickenlooper and moderate GOP Gov. John Kasich have joined forces gainfully to fight back against the GOP’s attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. In Hickenlooper’s case, that puts him squarely on the opposite side of Sen. Gardner, who is now indelibly linked to those repeal attempts after (allegedly) participating in the drafting of the bill and voting for every iteration presented to him.
In terms of Hickenlooper’s next move after leaving the governor’s office next year, there is growing talk about him mounting a run for the U.S. Senate against Gardner, which is a more attainable prospect than the much bigger gamble of running for President. That race would pit two of Colorado’s most successful politicians against each other, both presumably looking to win on a hopeful and positive campaign–Hickenlooper’s specialty, and also a strategy that proved effective for Gardner in 2014. That alone would make this a fascinating race to watch.
Hickenlooper’s not “ruling anything out,” and you certainly shouldn’t either.