We saw a photo of a resolution for a joint session at which Governor Polis was planning to speak making its way around social media this week. It made us scratch our heads. The resolution called Governor Polis “His Excellency” which is typically reserved for heads of state, as in heads of countries or international bodies. Some claimed that Polis had snagged the honorific for himself because of his high opinion of himself. We also considered the possibility that his caucus was playing a joke on him as we’ve heard rumblings that they are frustrated with his heavy-handed management of the legislative process from his Governor’s perch.
He may have a high opinion of himself, but a quick search of the Colorado General Assembly showed that the tradition actually started with former Governor, now Presidential candidate, John Hickenlooper in 2016.
That said, we still had to ask – why “His Excellency”? Was this even correct? The answer is no, according to Emily Post. That honorific is reserved for Ambassadors. We’re not sure why or how “His Excellency” was introduced into the legislative lexicon, but it’s wrong. That said, we giggled at the thought of Democratic staffers having to refer to former Governor Hickenlooper and current Governor Polis as “His Excellency.” Given the level of control each has attempted to exert over Coloradans’ lives, it did seem to be somewhat Freudian.
CORRECTION: Alan Franklin, a 50-year old intern at ProgressNow who was actually denied a promotion in order to advance Ian Silverii of all people (and that says a lot), is adamant that we credit him with discovering that Colorado Gov. John Routt also used “His Excellency” in 1876. This proves that Hickenlooper was not the first. Fine, who cares. It’s the wrong usage in either case and just a wildly ridiculous honorific for the Governor of Colorado. But since Franklin and the clowns at ProgressNow have obviously solved every problem in Colorado, we’re happy to help them on this next mission.