He has a drink-driving conviction, is mildly dyslexic and once took his mother to watch the pornographic film Deep Throat. Meet Democratic presidential hopeful John Hickenlooper, the former governor of Colorado. In a battle where many of the party candidates are hewing to the left, Mr Hickenlooper's sales pitch is that he is an "extreme moderate" – a pro-business Democrat who is also socially progressive. Now 67, Mr Hickenlooper has a nice line in self-deprecating wit – even in his campaign video. "As a skinny kid with Coke-bottle glasses and a funny last name, I've stood up to my fair share of bullies," he said as he tried to hammer home the message that, despite his diffident style, he is capable of holding his own against Donald Trump. Born in Philadelphia, Mr Hickenlooper studied English and then geology. John Hickenlooper was mayor of Denver Credit: Lightvision, LLC He came to Colorado as a geologist but was laid off during the economic downturn in 1988, which prompted an abrupt change of career. Mr Hickenlooper used his severance pay to open a brew-pub in downtown Denver. "I first met him on the day he opened his brewery," recalled Patty Calhoun, editor of Westword, a Denver-based newspaper and website. "1988 was a very depressed time in Denver and the only thing which happened was that John Hickenlooper and his partners opened The Wynkoop. "He just blossomed. With John, what you see is what you get. He is the most extroverted person you've ever met. If anybody is made for sitting down and chatting with people in Iowa and New Hampshire, it is him. "He really is a good listener who is interested in what other people have to say, even if he will argue with them." He entered politics in 2003, 15 years after opening his pub, running for mayor in Denver with a typically quixotic tv ad culminating in his riding a motorbike off into the distance. US election 2020 | Democrats running for President As Denver's mayor, he secured the Democratic National Convention for the city and wiped out a $70 million budget deficit. However, his administration's handling of a massive blizzard which shut the airport for 45 hours was heavily criticised. He ran for governor in 2010, inheriting a state which had been hit hard by the recession. When he left office at the beginning of 2019, the economy was booming. During his time as governor, he had to cope with floods, horrendous wildfires and the Aurora cinema shooting, which left six people dead. Mr Hickenlooper's response put him on a collision course with the National Rifle Association and the gun industry. Legislators received death threats; one manufacturer moved its factory out of the state. It was also on his watch that Colorado voted to legalise the recreational use of marijuana, a decision with which Mr Hickenlooper disagreed. His views have since changed and as governor, he signed a raft of cannabis legislation. According to Alan Salazar, his former deputy chief of staff, Mr Hickenlooper is a "consummate tavern owner" with a personality that has served him well in politics. "He is a storyteller and engaging company to be with. He is also challenging because he has great expectations for the people he works with. "Politically, it is hard to put a label on him. He has Democrats who love him, independents who love him and moderate Republicans who love him. "He defies convention. What he offers is, like Donald Trump, a reputation as a businessman but he is also the opposite of Donald Trump." Trump's key swing states moved to the Democrats Mr Salazar was cautious about predicting Mr Hickenlooper's chances of success. "I have been in politics for nearly four decades and I have never seen a crowded field like this. "I think the fact that the extreme left is in the ascendancy in the party could be a problem for John. But if the Democrats are smart, they not only need to defeat Trump but defeat Trumpism." Tom Vilsack, who served as Agriculture Secretary in Barack Obama's administration, said that Mr Hickenlooper faces a big challenge getting himself known to voters across the country. "I am sure he is going to put his heart and soul into it," Mr Vilsack said. "He has a different brand of politics which has done pretty well for him in Colorado. "I think he will have some very thought-provoking ideas to put out there. "He has never been a negative politician and It will be interesting to see if he can break through the cynicism which permeates our politics." Mr Hickenlooper's stance as a moderate triggered suggestions that he could run alongside John Kasich, the former Republican governor of Ohio, in a unity third party ticket. But such talk has died down. His local supporters, such as Pat Waak, the former chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic party, believes voters will warm to his thoughtful personality. "I was and wasn't surprised when he decided to run for president. There are a lot of good people in the field," she said. ‘He is not well known by the general public, it will be a lot of hard work, but he will be energised by it. "I have been in politics a long time and I get exasperated by people who don't know why they are running. "John has thought this through." But seasoned observers outside Colorado believe that his lack of name recognition will hold him back in a crowded field. "He comes from a smaller state in terms of population so he really needs an event to stand out," said Brandon Barford, a partner at Beacon Policy Advisors, a Washington DC political consultancy. Steve Jarding, a veteran Democrat activist and lecturer in public policy at the Harvard School of Government, also voiced doubts about the Colorado governor's prospects. "Hickenlooper is a chief executive which voters often like but also from a smaller state and one without a national base," he said. "He also fumbled his introduction to a national audience with his deer in the headlights answer on whether he is a capitalist - not a difficult question but he bombed on it. "Also his playing footsie with Kasich on a Democrat/Republican joint ticket will not serve him well in the primaries."
As Democratic presidential hopefuls work to position themselves as the candidate to unify the country and win over supporters of President Trump, an influential Iowa evangelical leader is inviting them to a forum on religion and politics traditionally reserved for Republicans ahead of Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses. Bob Vander Plaats, president of The Family Leader, said he's sending invitations Friday to the top seven Democratic primary candidates in current polls. "A lot of them are using faith as kind of a focal point, as a centerpiece," Vander Plaats said. "So we'd like to find out what makes them tick." The invitees to the Family Leadership Summit, scheduled for July 12 near Des Moines,
ROME (AP) — A doctor who has treated migrants saved at sea and a prominent anti-Mafia prosecutor were among the candidates presented Friday by Italy's largest opposition party to run in the European Parliament elections next month. The Democratic Party's new leader, Nicola Zingaretti, acknowledged at a news conference in Rome that the elections, which are being held May 23-26 in all 28 European Union nations, "will be a difficult battle" but he said the party would confront them with "great conviction." The center-left party was once a powerful force in Italian politics, most recently governing the country from 2013-18, a long stretch by Italian standards. But weakened by internal divisions,
One of Joe Biden's newly-hired senior advisers has seemingly had a very recent change of heart. Symone Sanders, a prominent Democratic strategist and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., staffer in 2016, was announced as one of the big-name members of Team Biden on Thursday. But Sanders, who has also served as a CNN contributor, is seen in resurfaced footage from November 2016 expressing her opposition to a white person leading her party after Donald Trump's election. “In my opinion, we don't need white people leading the Democratic party right now,” Sanders told host Brianna Keilar during a discussion on Howard Dean potentially becoming DNC chairman. “The Democratic party is diverse, and it should be
The second-largest opposition party, the Democratic Party for the People, on Friday absorbed a smaller opposition party in an attempt to bolster its strength ahead of an Upper House election this summer. The DPP, a splinter of the now-defunct Democratic Party, will maintain its name and basic policies after being joined by members of the Liberal Party. The DPP formed last May. “It's the first step to creating an alternative to take over the reins of government in place of the Liberal Democratic Party (led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe),” Yuichiro Tamaki, who heads the DPP, said at a news conference. “We'll continue to call on others to join.” With the merger, the Liberal Party will be disbanded.
In a week during which, among other things, the White House defied multiple congressional subpoenas, the commander in chief threatened armed conflict with Mexico, and we learned that the number of Americans breathing unsafe air is at an all-time high, presidential politics was largely consumed by the following question: Should the Boston Marathon bomber be allowed to vote from jail? The odds of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev swinging an election from death row are approximately zero. The most famous example came at the beginning of an October 1988 debate between the presidential candidates Michael Dukakis and George H. W. Bush.
Some Democrats say trying to remove Trump from office would be a waste of time because his fellow Republicans still have majority control of the Senate. Other Democrats argue they have a moral obligation at least to try to impeach, even though Mueller did not charge Trump with conspiring with Russia in the 2016 U.S. election or with obstruction of justice. Whether or not the Democrats decide to go down this risky path, here is how the impeachment process works.
While many across the world celebrate the holiday of Passover this week, commemorating the Biblical account of God freeing the Jewish people from slavery in ancient Egypt, a new movement encouraging young Jews to exit the Democratic Party is underway. Model Elizabeth Pipko relaunched her efforts to inspire American Jews to reconsider the Democratic Party because she says its leaders disregard their values and beliefs. Pipko, who made headlines earlier this year when she faced backlash for announcing her support for President Trump and co-founding Jexodus -- now called the Exodus Movement -- told Fox News she is doubling down on her efforts to encourage Jews to leave the Democrats in favor of politicians who align with their core beliefs.
Would Scarlett Johansson ever consider running for president one day? The "Avengers: Endgame" star recently revealed that she's not ruling the possibility of a campaign out. Asked if she's ever thought about it — during an interview with Variety published on Thursday — Johansson admitted that she hadn't before clarifying: "Maybe sometime in the future." “I think the greatest way to effect change is in local politics," she explained to the outlet. "Maybe at some point in the distant future, I will feel that calling, but I just haven't.” The 34-year-old actress also chimed in on former Vice President Joe Biden declaring his third bid for the White House. His first and second runs were in 1988 and
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — State Sen. Vivian Davis Figures is running to lead the Alabama Democratic Party. Figures announced Thursday that she is running for party chairman. She joins a field of candidates seeking to unseat current chairwoman Nancy Worley. The Mobile Democrat has served in the Alabama Senate since 1997. She was the first woman to serve as minority leader in the state Senate. Figures says it will take a team effort to unify the party and that she brings political experience and an ability to bring people together. Tabitha Isner and Will Boyd have already announced challenges to Worley. They both were Democratic nominees in last year's election. The Democratic National Committee
The local Democratic Party has reported giving $5,000 to newly-elected Tampa City Council member John Dingfelder's campaign, a contribution that would be illegal if Dingfelder accepted it. In its most recent finance report, the party reported making the contribution March 25 to Dingfelder, who won the citywide District 3 council seat in Tuesday's runoff. Dingfelder did not report accepting it. If he did, said City Attorney Salvatore Territo, it would violate city code provisions governing Tampa's non-partisan elections. Under those laws, council and mayoral candidates may not run as representatives of a party or accept money or endorsements from parties. The incident indicates how, despite those
US Coast Guard Lieutenant Christopher Hasson will be released on bail after being accused by federal prosecutors of planning a terror attack that targeted influential Democrats. During a February detention hearing, US Magistrate Judge Charles Day agreed to keep Mr Hasson held in custody but said he was willing to revisit his decision if prosecutors didn’t bring more serious charges within two weeks.
A California Democratic Party staffer says former chairman Eric Bauman forcibly performed oral sex on him several times and that the party failed to respond appropriately to Bauman's behavior, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Bauman's former assistant William Floyd is suing his ex-boss, the state party and the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, alleging sexual harassment, asssault, battery, negligence and civil rights violations. Floyd, who is now 28, began working as Bauman's assistant in 2016, when Bauman was chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. Floyd says Bauman assaulted him at least three times and groped him on numerous occasions. In his lawsuit,
Since 2009, Big Pharma has given a decent amount of money each year to the Third Way Foundation, the parent of the Progressive Policy Institute, a center-left think tank with ties to Democratic Party leadership. The giving wasn't astronomical, ranging between $25,000 and $75,000, but in 2016, the health care debate in the Democratic Party got real, and the contributions swelled, as Sen. Bernie Sanders gave Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton a scare, running on Medicare for All as a signature issue. According to tax records, PhRMA, or the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, upped its gift that year to $265,000. With Donald Trump in the White House, PPI's haul in 2017 from
Former Sens. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampFormer senators launching effort to help Dems win rural votes Pro-trade groups enlist another ex-Dem lawmaker to push for Trump's NAFTA replacement Pro-trade group targets 4 lawmakers in push for new NAFTA MORE (D-N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyFormer senators launching effort to help Dems win rural votes K Street boom extends under Trump, House Dems Some in GOP fear Buttigieg run for governor MORE (D-Ind.) are launching an initiative to help the Democratic Party reverse its losses in rural America ahead of the 2020 election. Heitkamp and Donnelly, who both lost their reelection bids in red states last year, will introduce