July 16, 2007

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper Begins Second Term

"I promise to plow Denver's street much quicker this term."--Mayor Hickenlooper

The Inauguration of Mayor John Hickenlooper to his second term, on July 16, 2007 at the Denver Performing Arts Complex Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre. With his wife Helen Thorpe at his side, District Court Judge Larry J. Naves administers the oath of office. (THE DENVER POST | KATHRYN SCOTT OSLER)

The second inauguration of the anointed one Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper:
Musing that residents could argue "Denver is in a league of its own," among American cities and pledging to continue remaking the city with input from its citizens, Mayor John Hickenlooper was sworn in for his second term this morning.

"The best way to ensure that Denver remains a great city is to ensure that its neighborhoods, its local republics, are great...and dynamically committed to the well-being of the communities that join them in composing the grand political and social experiment known as the Mile High City of Denver," Hickenlooper said in prepared remarks released in advance of the speech.

Rather than the classic inaugural address in which an elected official reviews accomplishments and lays out a vision for the future, Hickenlooper's speech instead focused more on his philosophy of government.

"As it is pretty apparent by now, it is my nature not always to do the conventional thing," the text of the speech read.

The Democrat instead used the speech to decry "the paralysis of partisan politics," and encourage residents to remake the city with him.

"The great City of Denver offers a new model, one with roots back in the Greek city-state and in the fertile mind of Jefferson - a model of the local republic based on the noble ideal of the common good," according to the text.

"This requires citizen participation; to put this more accurately, it gives citizens a glorious opportunity to play a consequential role in history. It invites Denver residents into the privilege - and satisfaction and fun - of creating new ideas and opportunities to make our neighborhoods vibrant, safe, and healthy," Hickenlooper was to say in the speech at the Buell Theatre.

Among those who were to be in attendance were Gov. Bill Ritter, who Hickenlooper thanked for "your partnership with the City of Denver. We are foot soldiers in your army."
Notice the subtle mention of Hickenlooper's political affiliation followed by his lament over "partisan politics". Conclusion? Only Democrats want to end the partisanship.

And what the hell does he mean by "We are foot soldiers in your army?" Imagine what the press would say if Republican said that--mindless automatons doing the bidding of Rove or Wadhams or whatever. Since when are Denver's residents "foot soldiers" in the Governor's army?

As our friends south of the border say, ¿Cómo?

The Denver Post prefaced Hickenlooper's second term with this hagiography:
In his rise from quirky outsider to one of the most watched political figures in the West, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper said he has tried to govern the city the way he ran the restaurants that made him rich.

"In the restaurant business, we spend our whole lives trying never to have an enemy," he said. "You'll do anything - even to the point of going above and beyond what you think is fair - to make sure that relationship continues in a positive way. It always struck me that that was a more useful paradigm in politics."

Over the past four years Hickenlooper has ridden that paradigm to a level of popularity that, on the eve of his second term, has him envisioning Denver as a modern-day City on a Hill.

He talks about the Mile High City almost as an evangelist, recruiting aides and advisers by asking them if they want to come to Denver to "change the world."

"We're one city," said Hickenlooper, who will take the oath of office Monday, "but I think people around the country look at us as kind of a beacon of hope. We are solving problems and addressing issues in a productive way."

In his first term, the mayor bolstered his standing in the business community and gained credibility as a successful CEO by pulling the city out of four years of budget shortfalls.

He also has managed to sell ambitious social and environmental programs such as the Greenprint Denver sustainability plan [delicious moonbat nuttiness, ed.], a plan to end homelessness and a tax increase for early childhood education. Similar measures were defeated twice before Hickenlooper threw his political weight behind the issue.http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif

"Not everyone can try and please all sides and come out looking positive," University of Denver political scientist Seth Masket said. "There are a few people who seem to be able to pull this off. I would put Hickenlooper and (California Gov. Arnold) Schwarzenegger in that category."

As his clout has grown, Hickenlooper has been able to shake off trouble.
It's the teflon, man.

What about Ref. C--the ballot redeferendum that Hickenlooper jumped out of an airplane for? Even liberal Denver Post columnist Diane Carman with this touted budget solution.

I forgot. Hickenlooper is a Democrat.

He meant well.

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