Hickenlooper Loses Edge on Charitable Giving, Exposes Political “Glass Jaw”?

Driving home from the office yesterday evening, listening to the tail end of the Caplis & Silverman Show on 630 KHOW, I could hardly believe my ears as Denver mayor and Democrat gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper assumed an uncharacteristically defensive tone when the hosts pressed him on his refusal to disclose any names of the charitable organizations his personal wealth has supported through the years. As the show’s closing music played, Hickenlooper lashed out at the show as biased and indicated he wasn’t too interested in coming back on the show again.

Complete Colorado has posted the audio.

Rossputin provides a great recap and thorough breakdown of the Mayor’s “strained” argument that raises more questions about the ideological bent of his giving and gives credence to the theory that Hickenlooper has a “political glass jaw.”

To be fair, Republican Scott McInnis had his own Caplis & Silverman moment eight months ago. But in the day previous to Hickenlooper’s near-meltdown, McInnis comported himself comparatively well under similar scrutiny from the hosts about his history of charitable giving. As Vince Carroll strongly hints in today’s Denver Post column, McInnis’ mildly-less-evasive answers mean the issue becomes a draw and not the hoped-for wedge Hickenlooper might leverage to close his deficit in the polls.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the issue will disappear for the election season. Just maybe the Colorado Republican Party’s newly-discovered decentralized soft money machine will have one major can’t-miss target to focus on: Hickenlooper’s evasiveness on charitable giving. That is if they have really gleaned all the political lessons from Rob Witwer and Adam Schrager’s new book The Blueprint.

Administrative note: I have changed the comment policy on Mount Virtus. As of last night, anyone who comments must register a screen identity and email address first. It wasn’t an easy decision, as I prefer to keep dialogue open and free-flowing (and generally have only monitored it for un-family-friendly content and outrageous personal attacks).

But a recent incident combined with more sophisticated comment spam has compelled me to take this approach. The good news is once you have registered and had a comment approved, all future comments will not need to undergo moderation. We’ll see how this system works. Thanks for your cooperation.

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