As John Hickenlooper continues his not-quite-a-candidate-yet tour of early-primary states in the 2020 presidential race, a national news outlet wonders if the former Colorado governor's elbows are sharp enough to win.
The Atlantic has handicapped the crowded field of Democratic hopefuls. The magazine's take on Hick:
"Can he win the nomination? Maybe, but Hickenlooper might be too business-friendly (and just plain friendly) to succeed in this primary."
As for what constituency wants the Coloradan to run, The Atlantic's view is: "Hard to say. Hickenlooper’s aw-shucks pragmatism plays well with pundits, but he doesn’t have much of a national profile at this point."
And that's despite months of visits to key states and speeches to high-profile groups. He was back in early-primary New Hampshire Wednesday night, stopping by a house party to meet Democrats.
He added another quote to his long list of comments on whether he'll run, per TV station WMUR-9: “I've been talking to people, my wife and I, discussing it. I'm determined (to decide) in the next month, or let's say six weeks."
Hickenlooper told Granite State voters he knows how to handle President Donald Trump:
"If you've got a name like Hickenlooper and you're a skinny kid with thick glasses, you learn how to deal with bullies, and you don't punch them back,” he said. “You kind of repeat what they say, but you twist it a little bit so the other kids on the playground kind of laugh, and the bully doesn't know whether you're laughing at me or the bully.
"Trump? He hasn't done anything.”
During a town hall meeting at New England College in Henniker on Thursday, Hickenlooper said he supports universal health care and thinks the U.S. eventually should provide it, The Associated Press reports. He said it's more important now to get behind the general idea rather than argue over a specific approach.
Hickenlooper canceled a planned stop in Londonderry, N.H., because of heavy snow.
Meanwhile, The Atlantic also rates the chances of another Coloradan, U.S. Sen. (and former Hickenlooper aide) Michael Bennet.
Can he win? "Perhaps, but he’s got a crowded lane and only a small national profile," the magazine says.
It notes Bennet's gone-viral Senate-floor rant against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz during last month's federal shutdown, and says his potential supporters are "probably some of the same people who want Hickenlooper to run."