Hat tip to Colorado Peak Politics for this heads-up — though we’re not sure we buy into the spin: Pro-GOP Peak of course doesn’t miss a chance to take a shot at Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper — and chortles at how far down the totem pole he is rated in an appraisal of potential presidential contenders this week by CNN political handicapper Chris Cillizza.
OK, but even if this latest rendition of who’ll-run-for-president-in-2020 doesn’t give Hickenlooper a whole lot of hope, it does at least keep hope alive for the former brewer and petroleum geologist whose geek-to-guv saga charms us still.
And, frankly, Cillizza’s analysis doesn’t give most of the presumed contenders a whole lot of credit; the headline reads, “There are at least 22 Democrats thinking about running for president in 2020.” More cattle call than beauty pageant.
Rather than assign all the prospects specific ranks, this review assigns them tiers — and Colorado’s governor lands in the third, which also is labeled “(There’s a chance but…).” Yes, parentheses and all. Here’s what Cillizza had to say:
Quietly, the governor of Colorado made it to the final cut of Clinton’s vice presidential list. He has a powerful story — small businessman, mayor of Denver, two term governor — and represents a part of the county where Democrats are growing. But, he is very low-key — and may be too moderate for Democratic primary voters.
That’s it. Probably the most humbling part of it for the governor this time around isn’t so much what Beltway super-insider Cillizza is / isn’t saying about him but rather the company he keeps on Tier No. 3.
Sure, there’s Martin O’Malley, the outspoken former Maryland governor who has stirred a pot or two and created a bit of buzz. But Hick also shares the space with the likes of Montana Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock, Minnesota U.S. Rep. Amy Klobuchar and Massachusetts U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton. Nothing disreputable about any of them, to be sure. Just sort of also-ran.
More humbling still for those stranded on Tier No. 3, even some of those deemed worthy of Tier No. 2 aren’t exactly head-turners, like Connecticut U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. (On the other hand, Al Franken, the comedian-turned-U.S. senator-from-Minnesota, is also on Tier 2. Love him or hate him, he is worthy of at least that level of distinction, no?)
Meanwhile, Tier No. 1 is reserved for the three Democratic bigs alone: former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Cillizza also includes a category, “No Tier (Rich businesspeople who’ve never run for anything before),” and you probably can guess some of the names. Check it out for yourselves; here’s the link again.
By the way, Cillizza includes this note on his methodology, for those who are curious:
These names — and the groups they fall into — are based on email exchanges with more than a dozen national Democratic strategists, many of whom are veterans of the Obama and Clinton campaigns.