That Gov. John Hickenlooper has failed in his leadership role as Governor of Colorado is not so much for a lack of trying, but rather a mismatch of his talents to the demands of the office; or, so The Washington Post alludes to in their opening paragraph:
If there is a ribbon to cut anywhere in the state of Colorado, whether on a refurbished park or a new bridge or a new school, chances are good that Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) will be there. Democrats and Republicans alike in this swing state say he acts like a mayor as much as a governor, showing up at every opportunity to congratulate a town or city on their latest project. After two terms leading Denver, he knows how to be a mayor. [the Peak’s emphasis]
The unsaid, logical flipside to those last few words— “he knows how to be a mayor” – is that Hick doesn’t know how to be a Governor. Hick wouldn’t be the first person promoted to a job just a level too high for what their natural abilities can cover. How could he know that presiding over a deeply Democratic city like Denver wouldn’t translate to the far corners of a state half the size of France? Perhaps he didn’t even own a map.
Now, like a man destined for a career in the minor leagues who shouldn’t get called up to the majors, Hickenlooper’s attempt to swing above his weight only results in many unforced errors:
[A]llies and opponents alike say, a series of missteps and bouts of seeming indecision have sent Hickenlooper’s approval and favorability ratings plummeting
Colorado political experts, including several close to the governor himself, say the issue has been Hickenlooper’s difficulty showing decisive leadership, especially on a few high-profile issues. [the Peak’s emphasis]
Among the many issues the not-ready-for-primetime Governor failed to lead on were the Dunlap decision, the debacle he made of the gun laws, and a refusal by him to reign in an out-of-control, extremely liberal legislature in 2013, where, despite being the most liberal legislature in Colorado history, Hickenlooper did not veto a single bill.
See, as Governor, the number one leader for all of Colorado, one is sometimes called upon to make the tough decisions, decisions where one must pick a winner and loser, decisions where splitting the difference is not an option. Hickenlooper has proved over the last four years, he will do everything in his power to avoid such a responsibility.
As Governor, Hickenlooper is more “pass the buck” than “the buck stops here.” Colorado can’t afford four more years of such ineffective leadership.