The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels and Michael Riley tag-team today’s report:
President Barack Obama encouraged Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper to run for governor during a call Friday, but the mayor has told friends the family will spend the weekend weighing a decision.
Hickenlooper met Friday with key advisers.
Obama pledged his support during the two-minute call to Hickenlooper’s cellphone while the mayor was en route to the National Western Stock Show’s annual Boots & Business lunch.
“He is very grateful for the call, but it doesn’t change the decision,” Hickenlooper’s spokesman, Eric Brown, said. “He is going to take the time to do what is best for the family.”
Political junkies are working overtime trying to figure out what the mayor will do…
A poll conducted in September 2008 by Floyd Ciruli showed Hickenlooper with a 58 percent favorability rating statewide, one percentage point behind then U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar. They got the highest marks of everyone in the poll.
The mayor’s favorability was 68 percent among Democrats, 57 percent among unaffiliated voters and 48 percent among Republicans.
“Hickenlooper is a master with the independent kind of voter, the weak partisan voter, and he’s exactly what you need even though it’s a tough year for Democrats,” Ciruli said.
As anyone who remembers Hickenlooper’s agonizing over the decision to (ultimately not) run for Governor in early 2006 knows, he’s not going to be hurried–at least not beyond what he understands is the limited amount of time available for someone to fill the vacuum left by Bill Ritter’s surprise exit. But the fact is, if anyone at this time four years ago would have realized what a paper tiger Bob Beauprez would turn out to be, we might be talking instead about who’s going to play the GOP’s Rollie Heath for Gov. Hickenlooper’s formality of a re-election. And here we are today, contemplating such a “reboot” of 2006 as a very real possibility. Seriously, pundits wonder why local Democrats are excited instead of dejected?
There’s no question in our minds that Hickenlooper will never get a better opportunity to advance politically than exists right now, and we think he knows that. That’s why we’re going to patiently wait out his deliberations with the family this weekend, fully expecting that in a very few days, Hickenlooper will announce his decision to do this thing.