Taking a page out of former President Bill Clinton's playbook (or James Carville, if you'd rather), Gov. John Hickenlooper provided a glimpse at what is likely to be a central theme of his re-election campaign in a fundraising email to supporters this afternoon.
Given his rather tepid support of Democratic-backed legislation in recent years, you're not alone if you've been wondering what Hickenlooper would campaign around in 2014. You know he doesn't want to talk about guns or the death penalty, and the recent failure of Amendment 66 makes it difficult for him to talk about education, so…it's the economy (stupid):
I’m glad to be the one to break it to you: We’ve got more economic good news! Unemployment is down and most other economic indicators are up across the board. The national economy is back on track, and Colorado’s economy along with it. Check out Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s recent statement, which hits some of the highlights.
The morning news isn’t always good, and around these parts we certainly know how it feels to wake up to tragedy in the headlines. But more often than not when we pull out the paper first thing its stories like this that get us revved up to keep at it.
We’re hard at work in Colorado, bringing in jobs in wind turbine manufacturing, construction, education, and making sure local governments have the resources to do their jobs. We’re making sure that Colorado is the kind of place people want to raise a family and start a business, and that’s a message that we are proud to spread far and wide.
Things are looking up. Naturally, we have our share of challenges to tackle, but that’s no excuse for believing that things aren’t going to get better.
They can. And they are. And we’re going to keep Colorado headed in the right direction.
You can argue over how much credit Hickenlooper should get for creating jobs in Colorado, but regardless of any particular cause-and-effect relationship, (and similar in some respects to Clinton's presidency) it is inarguable that an economic upswing did happen while Hickenlooper was Governor.
It's also a clever move to point to Scott Gessler's economic report as part of this message — it sends a bipartisan tone, and it also highlights one of Hickenlooper's preferred opponents in a general election.