When the Peak and Liberal Loon Carol Hedges agree, one of two things is happening: the end of the world is upon us, or you've found yourself an indisputable fact. In the case of Governor Hickenlooper and his penchant for hiding under the governing table it's the latter — although it could be both if the Mayans are right about 2012.
This weekend The Denver Post published an analysis of Governor Hickenlooper's governing philosophy in his first year in office — namely that he doesn't have one. Pulling quotes from the political left and right, the consensus the Post found was that Hickenlooper hides from controversy and ducks most issues that would require taking a position that doesn't poll over 60%.
From the article by Tim Hoover:
[O]bservers across the political spectrum say the Democratic governor's luck — or skill as many call it — at avoiding controversies can't last forever. Hickenlooper is still presiding over a state in the throes of its worst budget crisis since the Great Depression, and he's facing a 2012 legislative session many are expecting to be a massive partisan brawl.
Or to sum up Hick's style in his first year in office in one word, as we have done here at the Peak and the Post article quotes: Chickenlooper.
In the article Hick pushes back against this narrative, complaining to Hoover, saying, "where is it in the rule book that you have to always take a side and be part of these divisional arguments?"
Governor…you ran to be the man in the arena….so get in it.
On the left Hick gets a kick in the shins from state Senate President Brandon Shaffer (D-Longmont) and Liberal Loon Carol Hedges, who both exhibit a bit of exasperation with Hickenlooper's ability to govern with the least bit of leadership possible.
"I think people will expect him to be a little more proactive in introducing an agenda," whined Shaffer.
Annoyed that Hick avoided taking a position on the $3 billion proposed tax increase known as Prop 103, Liberal Loon Carol Hedges cried about his continued tactic of silence on the big issues, asking rhetorically "how long can that go on?"
Hick's leadership MO even earns a bit of snark by liberal Denver Post columnist Ed Quillen who said in an article making predictions for 2012:
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat elected in 2010, will be rumored to take a stand on some issue, although details will be sketchy and much speculation will ensue.
A narrative first proffered by the Peak has now become a mainstream, bipartisan view about the Governor.
While Hick may have solid approval ratings, Tim Hoover pointed out recently that his popularity is still drastically below where failed one term Governor Bill Ritter was at the same point in his tenure.
If Hick continues to hide, he may end up following the same path as Ritter — which doesn't lead towards the White House in 2016.