Photo: US Department of Agriculture

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today he's running for president, bringing joy to the sort of headline writers who've already exhausted their supply of "Buttigieg" jokes. Fortunately, Yr Wonkette is far too sophisticated to engage in such juvenile antics, so we'll just make a lot of weed jokes instead, since Hickenlooper presided over Colorado's first-in-the-nation voter initiative legalizing recreational cannabis use. He was personally against it, by the way, but the tax revenue sure has been nice. Hickenlooper is positioning himself as a business friendly moderate who's liberal on social issues, and his campaign launch video makes clear he intends to make opposition to Trump a central part of his campaign. Oh, heck, we forgot to include a weed joke there.

Stand Tall

Hey, that uses damn near the same dramatic opening chords as Jay Inslee's ad! Weird! The ad emphasizes Hickenlooper's ability to deal with the unexpected, like fires and floods, and the horrifying, like the Aurora movie theater massacre ("just offering thoughts and prayers would never again be sufficient"). Over video shots of Donald Trump, Hickenlooper says,

I'm running for president because we're facing a crisis that threatens everything we stand for. As a skinny kid with coke bottle glasses and a funny last name, I've stood up to my fair share of bullies. Standing tall when it matters is one of the things that really drives me.

The ad emphasizes his progressive achievements, noting that after Aurora, he signed a universal background check law and a ban on high-capacity magazines. It also calls attention to another Colorado first, a bill tightly regulating methane emissions in oil and natural gas operations, a big deal in fighting climate change. He's said it's equivalent to taking 320,000 cars off the road annually. Also, true fact: The greenhouse emissions from bongs don't even compare.

Hickenlooper is a native of Pennsylvania who came to Colorado to be a geologist in the oil bidniss, but was laid off during one of the industry's periodic busts in the 1980s. He saw a brewpub in California and thought that was a cool idea that would go over well in Denver, and by gosh, it sure did. Hickenlooper's Wynkoop Brewing Company sparked redevelopment in a distressed part of Denver and that helped Hickenlooper become mayor, not to mention a millionaire beer magnate with a bunch of other brewpubs and restaurants in other states. Yr Editrix held a very nice impromptu Drinky Thing at the Denver brewpub just yesterday after two different airplanes tried to kill her.

Hickenlooper ran for governor in 2010 and was lucky to be running against a Tea Party dipshit, Dan Maes, who fretted that Hickenlooper's support of a bike-sharing program was part of a plot to hand Colorado over to the UN, as Dems like to do with their states, insisting, "These aren't just warm, fuzzy ideas from the mayor. These are very specific strategies that are dictated to us by this United Nations program that mayors have signed on to." Then in 2014, Hickenlooper faced another loon, one Bob Beauprez, who insisted climate change was just a fad that would blow over like hula hoops and Pogs, and that even if the science were real, Jebus wouldn't let anything bad happen.

Despite the methane regulations, Colorado progressives worry Hickenlooper, the former oil guy, was too friendly to oil and gas interests, as the New York Times reports.

In recent years, some residents have faulted him for failing to push well projects out of their neighborhoods. (Mr. Hickenlooper has been so eager to promote the industry that he once drank fracking fluid.)

"He has allowed oil and gas to run roughshod over communities," said Sara Loflin, a Democrat and the executive director of the League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans. "I think in the face of climate change, I'm looking for a president and a nominee that is a little stronger on the environment."

Hickenlooper opposed ballot measures that would have prevented drilling within 2,000 feet of a school, park, or home, but he also pissed off Republicans in his final months in office by signing an executive order calling for Colorado to adopt California-style auto emission standards that would be tougher than the national emissions requirements. He also says he supports the idea of the Green New Deal, but the Denver Post notes he "has stopped short of embracing any specific portion of the resolution in Congress." So we'll see on that one, we guess.

In any case, it's good to see yet another candidate in the primaries, even if maybe he's mostly running for a cabinet position, maybe. Also, uh, Bong Hits 4 Jesus, OK?

In related news, Barack Obama's former Attorney General Eric Holder announced today he will not run for president, possibly because with Harris and Hickenlooper in the race, all the good "H" logo designs have been taken.

[CNN / NYT / NPR / Denver Post / Denver Post / WaPo]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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