Hickenlooper’s Inaugural Challenge

January 15, 2011

Governor Ritter chose to step down instead of running for a second term. Who can blame him? Has any prior governor of Colorado had to make tougher choices among lousier options than he faced, simply because our state’s current system of governance requires the fiscal balancing of irreconcilable constitutional mandates? Would you rather spend more time with your family, or with Colorado’s divided state legislature?

Governor Hickenlooper must be asking himself the same question that surely occurred to President Obama in November of 2008, “tell me again why I worked so hard to win this job?” I like Hick’s early observation in his inaugural speech, “We (Coloradans) don’t shrink from high passes or hard work.” Plenty of both lie ahead.

We are blessed with talented residents who share a passion for, as our new Governor put it, “the natural beauty that helps define Colorado.” We can also care for one another as individuals, while we reset our economy’s job-creating foundations, but the need for government to be both “effective and efficient” cannot be understated. Governor Hickenlooper has challenged his bi-partisan Cabinet to deliver on this promise.

Only time will tell whether Colorado can beat the odds in this regard. Can we learn to get along? No one has a firm grip on the Absolute Truth, but each of us experiences moments when we catch a glimpse of It. Why don’t we compare notes? To his credit, at the Governor’s “kitchen table,” all such perspectives are apparently welcome. Chime in!

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