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John Hickenlooper wears tie on ABC, avoids getting tied to collective bargaining (VIDEOS)

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John Hickenlooper's appearance on ABC's This Week yesterday wasn't nearly as warm and fuzzy as his holiday gig on the same network's Good Morning America two years ago. This time, he was part of a em>roundtable of four "top" governors taking on the country's budget crisis and big labor pains.

Colorado's governor, who'd worn a festive holiday sweater on GMA and has been going tieless lately, looked very buttoned down in a lineup that also included Republicans Jan Brewer of Arizona and Nikki Haley of South Carolina, plus Massachusetts's Deval Patrick as the other Democrat in the group.

The Republicans got the most air time -- partly because ABC could show video of Sarah Palin endorsing Haley, partly because the top GOPs were willing to take aim at the Wisconsin legislators who've fled south to Illinois, while Patrick and Hickenlooper were preaching cooperation. Hickenlooper mentioned his time in the restaurant business, and how when the Wynkoop group would take over ailing businesses, they'd reach out to workers and say, "You're the ones who have to to help us."

When Jake Tapper asked about $300 million in proposed education cuts, Hickenlooper acknowledged that "for one year, we're going to have to retrench," then added that his administration is taking the opportunity to work with legislators, educators and others to come up with creative solutions.

Hickenlooper did get to dodge a potential bullet, though: Tapper ran out of time before he could ask Colorado's governor the question he'd already asked the other three, regarding collective bargaining. While Hickenlooper is at a governors' confab in D.C., pressure is mounting for him to overturn Governor Bill Ritter's 2007 executive order, with a Denver Post editorial yesterday urging him to do so, and fast. "It was the beginning of the end for Ritter," the Post editorialized. "Why would Hickenlooper allow it to undo him as well?"

Cut!

Check out Hickenlooper on This Week in the two videos below.

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Gerald Styron, Denver mayoral candidate, once threatened to bring a gun to Westword."

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