It's not a lot of fun to be Bill Ritter these days. The governor swept into office with high marks from a broad coalition of voters, but of late, he's managed to piss off plenty of longtime supporters -- including grocery store workers and firefighters, many of whom no doubt worked to get him elected through their various unions. Then, to add insult to injury, he had to watch yesterday as Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper got better publicity for saying he wouldn't challenge Ritter in next year's gubernatorial primary than Big Bill has for doing anything in recent weeks.
Hence, Ritter's attempt last night to defuse the situation via a sit-down with Channel 9's Adam Schrager. But his attempt to defend himself was more than a little clunky. First, there was his complaint, as voiced about Schrager, about the media's relentless focus on the point "where we cross swords" -- a phrase that, thanks to ribald sitcoms, can't help but conjure up images of threesomes and bumping penises. Worse, his manner with Schrager lacked confidence. He seemed to rush through his points about "historic progress" made on his watch, and his comments about considering all Coloradans when he made a decision and "not just how does it impacts one small group" tended to brush off members of his base in the same way Democratic politician might dismiss lobbyists or special interests. Based on this performance, the healing has yet to begin.
To view the Channel 9 segment, click "Continue."
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