Hush, Hush waited in line to interview Andrew Romanoff, Speaker of the House, at last week’s Latino conference. This guy’s a people magnet and he never sits still. (No wonder his foot hasn’t healed from surgery.) When Andrew is not cornered by a reporter or a concerned citizen, he’s out working the halls. But patience won out and Hush, Hush finally got a turn with The Speaker.HH: So, what’s it like to be in charge?
AR: First, I’m going to whine: I’m always working. But I’m happy to be here. Did you know I’m the longest serving House Speaker in a decade?
HH: And what will happen in ’08?
AR: I haven’t thought that far ahead.
HH: Yeah, right.
AR: OK. Senator Ken Gordon is term-limited. But, really, I don’t know yet.
HH: What bills are going to be the biggest challenges?
AR: Those on healthcare, education reform, renewable energy and transportation. Oh, and the one on horse massages.
HH: How much communication is there between the House and the governor’s office on bills and issues? How is it different this year?
AR: Let’s just say, I doubt there will be any vetoes. There is daily communication and we have a close alignment on goals.
HH: The legislature has been in session for about a month–plenty of time for Democrats to start fighting each other.
AR: Democrats don’t fight; we have policy debates. We’re together on means, the “what needs to be done.” We may be divided on ends, the “how to get there.” Yet, it hasn’t been hard to keep people working together.
The Republicans, on the other hand, fight about ideology. They want to reduce government so it’ll fit in a bedroom.
HH: On that subject, what keeps you up at night, legislatively speaking?
AR: I worry about the children in Colorado. Little kids are so full of promise. I want them to have the best education. They should never have to lower their expectations.
HH: How did a single guy end up making children his number one concern?
AR: Well, I hope to change that personal scenario someday.
You know, the shape of the world is staggering. The poor conditions some people survive in are overwhelming. I feel guilty about living a normal, safe life sometimes. We have to move forward and work on the problems we can solve.
HH: How do you keep your sense of humor with all these responsibilities? Do you kick the dog when you get home?
AR: (Gasp!) I would NEVER do that to my dog! How can you suggest it?!
AR: Well, OK. Taking Zorro out for a walk helps me unwind.
HH: How have bloggers changed the political landscape?
AR: The legislature should start a blog on every subject, like a virtual town hall. But, it’s hard enough to keep staff from logging on now. Technology has made our system more democratic and “in touch.”
There is a real gap between what the main stream press covers to what really matters. Anymore, they are almost “info-tainment.” However, you take a risk on the blogs that not all statements are checked for facts and it’s hard to correct inaccuracies.
HH: One last question. So, who are you dating these days?
AR: Now, that’s confidential….