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Hick to stick with mayorship

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Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, after carpet-bombing Colorado with hints that he would drop the pretense and declare for governor, dropped the pretense in a noon press conference and said instead that he would not. This has occasioned much moaning among Democrats who fear they will be stuck with a candidate, Bill Ritter, who doesn't like abortion. Oh the humanity! Never mind that Hickenlooper's decision actually benefits Dems long term and quite possibly in the short term. For one thing, Ritter can tap reservoirs of voters who wouldn't give a "conventional" Democrat a second look — so much for Bob Beauprez running on that as a defining issue. Where else are other Dems going to go? Hickenlooper, meanwhile, can offer voters at some future date a hard-earned measure of credibility, having fended off the most amorous of political suitors and deciding to tend to Denver, as he said he would do in the first place. If Colorado Republicans see Hick's decision as a giving them a breather, then they're missing the obvious — the Dems, despite themselves, are building a lineup and a bench. What is most instructive is that the Dems are building success not by going to the well — the Legislature — but by scrupulously avoiding it. That's how a party builds itself into a juggernaut — really.

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