DENVER — “They haven’t even joked about it.”
That’s what Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said when asked if he has spoken with Hillary Clinton or her people about a possible future role in a Clinton administration should she become the next president.
Hickenlooper, a swing-state Democrat with a business-friendly oil industry background, has seen his name floated on politerati lists of potential running mates for Clinton, or at least someone she might look to for a cabinet position in the White House should she win her party’s nomination and the general election in the fall.
“I can honestly say that she nor any of her staff have ever raised the possibility or discussed it even. They haven’t even joked about it. … I think that her staff is very focused on winning these primaries and making sure that she’s got a real good head of momentum going into the convention this summer in Philadelphia,” Hickenlooper told The Colorado Independent following an endorsement speech for Clinton in a park near the Capitol Thursday.
While coy, the governor hasn’t exactly acted like someone who isn’t thinking about a possible future in higher office. A term-limited governor a year into his final term, he’s penning a memoir with the help of former 5280 magazine editor Max Potter. And while Hickenlooper hadn’t endorsed Clinton the last time she ran in the Democratic primary for president in 2008, he offered his early full-throated support for her this time.
It is not unusual in American politics for state-level partisans who back a winning horse — either with big fundraising or key endorsements — to be rewarded with ambassadorships or federal agency positions if their candidate becomes president.
Asked if Clinton won what might interest Hickenlooper most if ever a position in her administration came up, he said it isn’t something presently on his mind.
“There is so much ground to cover between here and there I don’t even think about,” he said. Asked how he would joke about it, Hickenlooper demurred.
“I wouldn’t joke about it,” he said. “She’s trying to win a campaign. I don’t want to — I make jokes and all of a sudden that distracts the focus of the campaign, the momentum.”
Speaking to reporters, Hickenlooper said Colorado could be a turning point in Clinton’s campaign on the March 1 Super Tuesday caucus night.
“I think she’s going to win— I think it’s going to be very, very close,” he said. “I think a lot of people are going to their caucuses with some issues in their minds and they’re going to talk and I think as they talk … I think that momentum is going to swing a little bit to Hillary. I think Colorado might be one of those turning points in her campaign where she begins to demonstrate where that groundness that so many of us know and recognize does translate to the voting public.”
[Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture via Creative Commons on Flickr]