Is Colorado’s Governor Just An Accidental Politician Or Eager For A National Role?

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Photo: Gov. John Hickenlooper, June 2015 (AP Photo)
Colorado Gov. John HIckenlooper at the State Capitol in Denver.

It turns out the buzz about his possible vice presidential nomination was wrong, but Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper did get a primetime speaking spot tonight at the Democratic National Convention.

Both he and Colorado House Democratic leader Crisanta Duran will speak before Hillary Clinton accepts the presidential nomination for the Democratic party. Duran will be on between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Hickenlooper will follow between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. CPR News coverage of these events will follow online and on air.

Last week, Hickenlooper talked to us about what topics he'll address when he takes the stage, including voter anger in the 2016 election cycle:

"I think part of it at least is coming from how rapidly our economy, I mean whole careers are vanishing in a decade. And it's very difficult to get people trained and transitioned into whole new careers," he said.

At the height of the VP speculation a couple of weeks ago, Hickenlooper kept silent on where he stood in the selection process. The release of his memoir earlier this year fueled the rumors, but Clinton ultimately chose U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia.

On whether his new memoir is meant to serve national political ambitions:

"If this book was supposed to be an audition to be a [vice presidential] candidate, I mean, there's at least half that book I wouldn't have put in there. I put in warts and all, and there are a lot of very embarrassing things in that book that I don't think portray me in a very positive light," Hickenlooper said.

Speculation has now moved to whether he would consider an appointment by Clinton if she is elected president:

"I think it's very hard for me to imagine any cabinet position," Hickenlooper said. "Again you never say never, but looking at how those jobs work, and how much good you could do... I think I can get more done here [in Colorado as governor]... I think it's very, very unlikely that I would go into the cabinet."

We spoke with two people who've worked with the governor about his political ambitions and his speaking style -- something even Hickenlooper has been known to chuckle about.

Roxanne White served as Hickenlooper's chief of staff for five years. Republican Frank McNulty was speaker of the Colorado House during Hickenlooper's first two years in office.