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Woozy With Moderation

  • Publication: 
    The New York Times
    November 14, 2018

    I was late for breakfast with Colorado’s governor, John Hickenlooper. We were in Manhattan, on the same September day that President Trump gave a speech at the United Nations, the one where the delegates laughed out loud at him. By the time I reached Madison Avenue, I found the street entirely blocked off by police barriers.

    “How do I get from here to there?” I asked a cop. I thought it was a reasonable question. “You don’t,” he replied, summing up the Trump era in a single phrase.

    As the barricades fell and I rushed to meet Mr. Hickenlooper, I wondered if the governor — on the cusp of a possible run for president — could also inspire such passions.

    Governor Hickenlooper, an optimistic, pro-business, pragmatic centrist, might seem, at first, like a long shot for the Democratic nomination. But then, in considering a post-Trump era, it is hard to imagine anything.

    His vision for education in America reflects his pragmatism. In February he helped start a project called the Skillful State Network, a bipartisan collaboration with 20 other governors intended to transform the American labor market. It aims to help workers gain the skills they need to get good jobs in the digital economy and to help employers find those workers.

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