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December 17, 2005 09:00 AM UTC

Hickenlooper Story No Idle Talk

  • by: Colorado Pols

The Denver Post reports today on what has been a not-entirely-secret rumor in the last week or two: that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper is indeed considering a run for governor.

We’ve heard this talk for about two weeks now, but we have avoided posting on it because Hick for governor rumors are a little like herpes; you never know when an outbreak is going to happen and there’s nothing you can do to stop them from popping up. There’s no use discussing the rumors until there’s more fire to go along with the smoke. Well…

The Post article is different, and  it cannot be dismissed as idle talk for four reasons:

1. Hick didn’t make this announcement to his cabinet absentmindedly. This was done with the idea that the press would pick up on it. He hasn’t done this before — or if he has, nobody has talked about it — so why all of a sudden bring it up now? His staff has always been fairly tight-lipped, which means this is being floated for a reason.

2. Hick’s communications director, Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, has never publicly been this forthright before about a possible run for governor. She has always said something to the effect of “The Mayor has no intention to run for governor.” But what does she tell the Post on Friday?

“A number of people from both sides of the political aisle continue to encourage the mayor to consider running. He has learned nothing so far to convince him to run, as he absolutely loves being mayor of Denver.”

Granted, that’s a far cry from a definitive statement, but the tone is clearly changing.

3. The Post reported that privately commissioned polls have shown Hick to be popular statewide. Polls are expensive, and you don’t pay for them unless you think there is a use for them. In this case, if Hick was definitely not running, there’s no reason to spend the money on a poll. You don’t use a poll like that to convince someone to run; you use it to reassure them.

4. The Post reported that Hick was scheduled to meet with a top Democratic fundraiser today. Unless the discussion is about Hick raising money for someone, or something else — which is an odd meeting to have on a Saturday a week before Christmas — there’s little question that Hick is talking about raising money for himself today.

There’s absolutely no question, love him or hate him, that Hickenlooper is the clear frontrunner if he does decide to run for governor. We’re a long way from November ’06, but it would be his race to lose. So now…is it his race to run?


27 thoughts on “Hickenlooper Story No Idle Talk

  1. One has to wonder what skeletons are rattling around in his closet.

    “No compelling reason” could easily translate to : “haven’t completely hushed it up or tracked down all the witnesses/evidence”

    John’s a great candidate, but with all the vitriol on the right, the tiniest peccadillo will be magnified a thousandfold, so I’m sure his peeps are making sure he’s as airtight as possible.

  2. Beth: I don’t like the guy, that doesn’t mean I hate him. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

    Gecko: That’s right. I?m crying big fat crocodile tears for you.

  3. Oh Beth, you just have to sick around for the manic episodes. I’m quite cheerful then. Except when I?m not.

    How about this?

    Oh gee willikers, I think Hickenlooper running is so swell. He is my hero. He has done such a great job in Denver, and his beer it great. May God sprinkle his world with gumdrops and kind musings. Everyone loves the man. I hope he  becomes president one day. Then I can tell my children I knew him when. He’s the best.

  4. As the prime target of Ms. Rosa’s pointy finger, let me just reiterate that I think it’s kind of cute. So be nice to her, at least she is able to formulate complete sentences.

    In fact, I’m going to hoist a hemp brew at the Wynkoop in her honor next time I’m down there. Are they still brewing that? I suppose I would understand if they weren’t.

  5. Getting back on topic from the Rosa bickering, I still think The Hick would be a damn fool to run for Guv. He may actually win and have to give up a much better job. OTOH, he wouldn’t have to relocate . . .

  6. Anybody know how Hick polls outside the metro area? 

    His numbers may be high around Denver, but I wouldn’t think his numbers would be all that devastating anywhere else.

    It’s not like Bobby B or Marky Mark are going for votes in Denver county as their targets – and even with Hick’s suppport, I’d be surprised if his name ID is even that good in El Paso, Larimer, Weld, Pueblo and several others.  And I’d be suprised if he’s well liked in JeffCo, Douglas, Elbert, Arapahoe, etc.  But, that’s all just speculation, I haven’t seen anything to prove that theory. 

    Anybody seen any polling?

  7. From what I have been told about the Mayor’s internal polling (and this is very 2nd-hand so take for what’s worth) is that the sample polled was equally distributed among the 7 CD’s so that should give a pretty good indication that he has support outside of Denver.

  8. I don’t know……I’m betting most people in El Paso County have never even heard his name before. You could ask 50 people here who the mayor of Denver is and most would first say who cares, and then they would say they don’t know.

  9. Gecko, Charlie Green:

    I’ve seen the polling.  Hick’s statewide name ID is greater than the Governor’s.  His favorability rating, statewide, is in the 80’s (Bush, Owens, Campbell don’t have those numbers).

    His numbers are devestating to Republicans statewide.  Most everyone in the state knows who the Mayor of Denver is, and it’s a little degrading to think we don’t.  We may not all like Denver, but that doesn’t mean we have our heads in the sand.

    I love watching the Republican’s squirm.  It’ll still be a tight race (this is, after all Republican country), but he sure starts with a strong position.

  10. There was a public poll awhile back that had Hickenlooper with 68% favorability along the front range, if I remember correctly. I think it was in the early summer. It was in one of the newspapers.

  11. I’m not pro Hick or anti Hick, really don’t care either way,….I work at a company in Colorado Springs with over 70 employees………blue collar service work kind of company, and I still think I could ask anyone there who the mayor of Denver is and not a one could tell me. These are normal hard working people, men and women, without their heads in the sand. They like me don’t much give a rat’s ass about Denver, so it shouldn’t be surprising that they don’t know his name or care.
    And I’m not sure about polls. I have never been asked to participate in a poll in my 49 years, ever………..Who are they polling?

  12. I just for the hell of it, asked my wife who the mayor of Denver is. She said she has no idea. When I told her she said she has heard the name but that is about it.
    My wife is the office manager for a dermatologist. She is not stupid.
    And she says she has never been asked to participate in a political poll either…….
    So I’m thinking not everybody knows or cares who Hick is.

  13. Anyone in the state who does not know who Hickenlooper is can not claim to be well informed.  Even folks who are hard working often don’t read or interact with others that think differently than themselves.  Sorry, Gecko, if you, your wife and your peers at work don’t know who Hickenlooper is and at least a little about what he has done in Denver then you are NOT informed.  I don’t live in Denver, only go to the big city two to three times a year, am not endorsing Hickenlooper, but I do read papers from all over the state and his name is in most of them at least once a week.

  14. Did I ever say I or anyone else is “well” informed? No. I said not everyone knows or cares who Hick is. We have our own problems here in Colorado Springs. And the only paper I read everyday is the Gazette which has little to nothing in it about the goings on of the political party in the big city. Many people think that the state should revolve around Denver. It doesn’t.
    I asked five co-workers this morning if they could name the Mayor of Denver. Not a one could. And to be completely honest, until the C&D debate started a couple months ago, and I started reading this blog, I never knew who he was or much less cared.
    Some people might call me stupid but I can build a house from the ground up, rebuild a small block 350 in my sleep, do plumbing, wiring, concrete work, etc. So I might not be “up” on everything political but I’m not dumb.

  15. I think what the polling actually showed is that Hickenlooper’s approval rating was higher than that of Owens, not necessarily name ID.

    Hickenlooper polls extremely well throughout the metro area – including Arapahoe and JeffCo.

    In every poll I have seen over the last 4 or 5 months (private and otherwise) Hickenlooper beats both Beauprez and Holtzman head to head, in some polls by as much as 15%.

    Just remember, Mares and Zavaras underestimated this guy. 

    If he gets in (and I believe he will), he will win.

  16. Hick was on 850 radio this morning with Mike Rosen and said multiple times that he isn’t running. He said while he can’t 100% rule it out, at this point the idea of him running for governor is far fetched…..
    Now is he lying?

  17. As far as name recognition or approval goes, the key isn’t how Hickenlooper compares to Owens.  By either test, he certainly blows away Ritter, Beauprez and whatzisname.

  18. Roger D: Zavaras was a back-slapping joke who had no chance in hell of winning the mayoral election in Denver. Once he was put on the “stump,” I think even his most ardent supporters began to distance themselves from him. Zavaras was (supposedly, reportedly) Webb’s hand-picked successor who’d keep Webb’s good ol’ boy network (including cabinet heads) intact. I really don’t think Webb–savy as he was–would ever hand-pick a guy like Zavaras to succeed him.

    Mares was a kind, honest (albeit a little too close and beholdin’ to union influence) man who did not have the foresight to step out of the traditional political mold in his run for mayor and, indeed, was blindsided by the quirky, snake oil hucksterism of the Hick/Huck who was going to be the “non-politician” businessman who would clean up the parking meter mess and ride a Vespa to work every day. The folks just ate that baloney up.

    Thus, Hick it was.

    Now, don’t get me started on Hick except to say that any Mayor who needs a civilian review board, a Police Review Monitor guy, an administratvie aid dedicated solely to police matters and an independent police reform consultant to sort out what he, the Hick, perceives to be problematic in the Denver Police Department, is a mayor who needs to be reminded that a good Manager of Safety and Police Chief should, really SHOULD be able to adequately adminster and reform (if reforms are needed) the police department. If they aren’t capable of that, then, well don’t hire four additional levels of reporting, input, review, and monitoring. Fire their asses and get yourself a Manager of Safety and a Police Chief who can run the f—ing department.

    As to the question of Hick for governor. Oh, take him, take him. He’s your guy, dear Democrats. Why he’d just blossom in the role of governor. 

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