Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s senior team urged him last month to withdraw from the presidential race gracefully and run for Colorado’s Senate seat or pursue other opportunities, a source familiar with the situation told POLITICO…
“We thought it was time to make a change,” he told MSNBC’s Craig Melvin. “You know, these campaigns are long, hard campaigns and you don’t always get it right with the first team.”
But a source familiar with the situation disputed the governor’s characterization, saying he is lashing out at the political professionals around him and surrounding himself with Colorado loyalists rather than confronting reality.
As the Denver Post’s Nic Garcia reports, the presidential campaign of former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is entering the staff-shakeup phase, which though not in itself terminal is certainly a sign that Hick is not pleased with his standing after last week’s introductory presidential debates:
John Hickenlooper, struggling to gain traction in a crowded Democratic presidential primary field, announced a new campaign manager late Monday following the news that his national finance director was leaving…
The shuffling comes days after the former Colorado governor failed to have a breakout moment at the first Democratic debate and a day after a key fundraising deadline.
Politico first reported that Dan Sorenson, Hickenlooper’s finance director, was leaving to join former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign.
On Hickenlooper losing his finance director to the only somewhat less underperforming campaign of Beto O’Rourke, 9NEWS’ Kyle Clark had an amusing if painful Twitter rejoinder:
Hickenlooper’s finance director leaving him for Beto is like your high school girlfriend dropping you for a guy who might be getting a car. #copolitics
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) July 2, 2019
The consensus view is that of Colorado’s two presidential candidates, Sen. Michael Bennet acquitted himself better on last week’s debate stage. Though neither candidate managed what one could call a breakout moment, there’s speculation that Bennet’s face time in opposition to Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders could give him renewed legs as those candidates drop in support–speculation we’ll believe if and when we see it in poll numbers measurably improving for Bennet.
As for Gov. Hickenlooper, he’s almost sure to stay in this race through the next round of debates at the end of this month. That’s how long he’s got to turn his presidential campaign around with the qualifications for future debates set to tighten. It’s not unreasonable to suggest that how Hickenlooper manages the next month could matter more to Colorado politics than the presidential race.
Like the decision to run for president itself, it’s up to Hickenlooper to decide what comes next.