Yesterday Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper demonstrated the arrogance of politicians who forget that they are still humans who just happened to get more votes than someone else and that they hold public office as trustees for all the citizens in their state (or nation or city or school board). Having worked next to a President of the United States, Senators, Congressmen, cabinet secretaries, Prime Ministers and others, I have learned to discern between those who understand their roles and those who think they are better than the rest of us.
John Hickenlooper is in the latter category.
Here’s what happened at yesterday’s Debate Fest on the campus of the University of Denver. (And here’s Michael Robert’s version in Westword.)
On The Rundown With Sirota & Brown (my afternoon radio program on 630KHOW) we were interviewing people on the campus as they walked by. I noticed Governor Hickenlooper about 50 yards from our remote broadcasting booth and asked our producer to see if the governor would talk to us. We were told he would not.
I then noticed the governor was conducting interviews. He had at least two, maybe three, microphones in his face and a couple of television cameras. So, I grabbed a remote microphone, walked over to where the governor was talking, and put our microphone next to the others. As I did a person to my left asked who I was with and I identified myself and our station.
The governor finished talking and started walking away. I held the microphone out to him, introduced myself, and asked if he would talk to us. I was immediately shoved away by the person who had stood next to me, which then, I assumed was a security detail (despite the governor’s protestations to the contrary, I did see a security person standing to the governor’s right as he talked to the media).
I don’t take being shoved around.
I asked the governor why he wouldn’t talk to us and he swung around, literally got in my face, called me an idiot, told me to lower my voice or he’d walk away, and told me he couldn’t talk to us because he had promised some kids a photograph.
His behavior was unbecoming a governor. His behavior exhibited the arrogance of a politician who believes he is unaccountable to anyone except himself, and exhibited the kind of thin-skinned personality that we see when President Obama is challenged by anyone around him.
Here is the audio of the encounter.
Later, after our radio program had ended, we were told by another radio station the governor came by after we had left and had his photo taken to prove he came by.
Governor, you promised to talk to us on air.
We look forward to your “communications director” calling and scheduling the interview. He has the number.
And I’ll keep you posted.