John Hickenlooper, We Didn't Even Know Her!
Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, unable to make enough headway in fundraising and polling to have much shot at qualifying for the September Democratic presidential primary debates, is planning to drop out of the presidential race today, according to severalreports. Hickenlooper is eyeing a run for US Senate against incumbent Republican Cory Gardner, although he's not expected to address a Senate run when he announces his withdrawal today. After Hickenlooper bows out today, there'll only be one Colorado Democrat making a doomed run for the presidency. Call yourself a big politics nerd if you can name him! (Okay, you're a big politics nerd!)
Although Eric Swalwell was the first candidate to drop the torch, back on July 8, Hickenlooper had already grabbed the first spot on the 2020 campaign deathwatch a week earlier, when Politico reported the campaign was struggling to bring in donations, as campaign staff fled for more secure jobs. The New York Times campaign obit notes Hickenlooper frequently
found himself in front of small, distracted crowds at campaign events. He was mistaken at one point for a member of the news media and at another for a different Democratic presidential candidate.
The Times doesn't say which one, but we bet it was the moderate white guy.
Happily, while Hickenlooper had a hard time getting noticed at the national level, he's already very popular in Colorado, which is why he shoulda just run for Senate in the first place. He's a former Denver mayor and a brewpub owner, and presided over the state's first-in-the-nation voter initiative legalizing recreational cannabis use. He was personally opposed to it, but the tax revenue sure has been nice for Colorado.
A new poll on behalf of "a national Democratic group involved in Senate races" shows Hickenlooper far ahead of the top four candidates in the Democratic primary for US Senate (there are 11 D candidates in all). We're talking a 50-point lead. A new PPP poll of Colorado voters also shows Hickenlooper with a 13-point (58-31) lead over Gardner, if he'd just get into the race. Which he's now free to do, hooray! That should be welcome news to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who's been lobbying Hickenlooper to challenge Gardner.
Over the last weekend, Hickenlooper went for a little car ride with Sen. Michael Bennet and his eyebrows (that's the guy from the first paragraph! You're smart!) to chat about what might come next in the campaign:
The two drove around Clear Lake for about 20 minutes ahead of the Wing Ding dinner, a Democratic fund-raiser that drew 21 presidential candidates. Aides and advisers to the two men, who have been both allies and rivals over their careers in Colorado politics, declined to reveal what was discussed.
In a snap poll asking whether the Iowa Dems' "Wing Ding Dinner" or the Kentucky Republicans' "Fancy Farm picnic" has the stupider name, 60 percent of respondents rolled their eyes and replied "Trump rally."
Yr Wonkette would also like to take this opportunity to repeat a solemn promise we made last month, in case it's enough to tip Mr. Hickenlooper's decision on a run for the Senate: If he gets into the race against Gardner, we absolutely vow to never make fun of his weirdass trainwreck of a name.
[Politico / NYT / Denver Post]
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