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New Hampshire-bound Hickenlooper: Running for president ‘would be really fun’

Author: Joey Bunch - July 26, 2018 - Updated: July 26, 2018

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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper during his presentation at the Aspen
Institute in Washington, D.C. on his 2Gen program of social welfare benefits on March 5, 2018. (Photo: Tom Ramstack, special to Colorado Politics)

For Gov. John Hickenlooper’s 12th appearance on “The Aaron Harber Show,” he talked about his two terms leading Colorado and what’s going through his unsettled mind about running for president.

“I think running for it would be really fun,” Hickenlooper says on the episode that airs Sunday on KCDO-TV Channel 3 at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. (WATCH at the end of this story.)

He adds this:

You have to distill yourself down to your essence, who you really are, why you’re doing it, why you think you would be a better president than anyone else running. And, you know, part of the reason it takes a long time to figure out whether you want to run (is) you have to be pretty sure when you start taking people’s money and putting together a team and looking at all these caucuses and all these primaries, once you start doing it and spending people’s money, you have a real responsibility and obligation to follow it through to do the best you can.

> RELATED: Hickenlooper plans to ‘sort through’ presidential decision this summer

In the show, Hickenlooper reflects on what he sees as his successes, answer criticisms Harber passes along from those who have been running this year to replace him.

Hickenlooper is one of a handful of Democrats being sized up to lead the ticket in 2020, although a Washington Examiner roundup of top Democratic hopefuls for the White House doesn’t even mention him, perhaps suggesting that the Hickenlooper name looms larger in Colorado than elsewhere.

> RELATED: With wide-open presidential field, Hickenlooper and other Democrats are road-testing messages

He is in New Hampshire, an early presidential primary state this week. He will stop by a coordinated campaign office with a state Senate candidate, and he had plans to visit with Young Democrats in Exeter Thursday night.

His staff reassured Colorado Politics it was not a campaign swing, that Hickenlooper and his family are vacationing at a home they have ther, and that he was asked to say a few words to a local group. He didn’t take any of his staff along on the family vacation.

Hickenlooper also has plans to be in early-caucus state Iowa in August, per KDVR.

Harber tells Colorado Politics this:

I was impressed with how open Gov. Hickenlooper was about his decision process related to running for president. I think almost anyone watching the interview will conclude this is something he would like to do, but first needs decide if he wants to make such an extraordinary personal commitment and also determine if there is a realistic path to victory. Given his probably Democratic competitors, Hickenlooper, with the right backing, could surprise many of us, just as he has previously.

> RELATED: Hickenlooper drops hints about presidential run at D.C. event

There’s more to the Hickenlooper episode than presidential aspirations. Says Harber:

My favorite part of the program isn’t the interview itself but the footage we incorporated into it from his first appearance with me almost two decades ago — before he ever ran for office or was any kind of public figure. When he walked into the studio, for a moment I thought Bill Gates — with a bowl haircut and thick glasses — somehow had accidentally decided to crash the show. It may have been the first time John Hickenlooper ever was on a long-form discussion television broadcast program.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.