There are those who continue to struggle to reconcile Gov. Hickenlooper’s eccentric public image with his strong polling numbers.
After all, this was the same guy who was once rated as one of the country’s top five mayors by Time magazine, with approval ratings that consistently breached the 90% mark.
The very same guy who ran for mayor on a platform that includes overpriced parking meters.
The same guy who once publicly pledged a $5,000 bounty to anyone who can find him a wife.
The same guy who has managed to foster a culture of compromise between Democratic and Republican state legislators, which even drew praise from Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty.
Perhaps an easy way to understand this former oilfield geologist, restaurateur and beer brewer is to look back at a promotional campaign he once devised for one of his restaurants.
He dressed up ten pigs with small umbrellas and small hats (on account of the sun) and coaxed them to run around the restaurant. The event, called “running of the pigs,” named after Pamplona’s world famous “running of the bulls” festival (which draws tens of thousands of revelers annually), proved to be wildly successful. The LoDo-based restaurant, Wynkoop (which he has since sold), is now one of the most famous landmarks in Denver.
If you still have trouble understanding Gov. Hickenlooper after this, then you’re on your own.