Gov. John Hickenlooper has made a political career out of being being too cute by half. The Republican Governor’s Association is about to show him voters don’t really appreciate glib answers to serious problems. While Hickenlooper just released one of his trademark quirky ads in response to a previous RGA ad, the rest of Colorado has already moved on to another issue Hickenlooper has failed to lead on.
Joey Bunch over at The Denver Post writes about how Hickenlooper’s introduction of politics into the death penalty sentence of cold-blooded murderer Nathan Dunlap could hurt him this fall:
When he ran for governor four years ago, Hickenlooper was vocal about being pro-capital punishment. His decision-making around the issue in 2013 has left some in his own party, and nearly everyone who opposes him, questioning his rationale…
“This was made political by John Hickenlooper,” said George Brauchler, the Republican district attorney whose office is trying Holmes and who supports capital punishment.
“Remember what he did. He said to the state of Colorado: I’m not going to act on the order from a jury, from a court…
By saying he might grant clemency if he loses, Hickenlooper didn’t portray himself as a thoughtful leader, the pollster [Floyd Ciruli] said.
“Speaking in a hypothetical about what if he loses, what he might do, that comes across as politically manipulative,” Ciruli said. [the Peak’s emphasis]
The RGA has seized upon this and has released a devastating attack ad against Hickenlooper. In it they show a local TV interview of one of the parents of a victim murdered by Dunlap calling Hick a coward. The ad highlights Hickenlooper’s inability to make tough decisions, and his unwillingness to let Coloradans know before the election whether or not he’ll grant Dunlap clemency should Hick lose his reelection.
Meanwhile, over in Hickenlooper’s ad, he’s playing pool by himself while important decisions about Colorado’s future go undecided. Our smarmy governor in his natural element.