How John Hickenlooper put in the work to become a Clinton running mate finalist

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Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper exits the state capitol before a press conference calling out Donald Trump as a racist candidate. June 8, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  John Hickenlooper; denver; denverite; governor john hickenlooper; capitol; capitol hill; speech; kevinjbeaty; colorado

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper exits the state capitol before a press conference calling out Donald Trump as a racist candidate. June 8, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper won’t be Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s running mate, but it’s not for lack of trying. His efforts earned him one of the toughest job interviews you’ve ever heard of — and late face-time with the woman who may yet offer him his next job.

Earlier this year, it was impossible to escape the Hickenlooper book tour. And yes, the tour was part of positioning him to get national coverage and stretch his profile, Politico reports:

“Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper got himself as far as one of the interviews after spending the spring on a book tour. His near constant presence in Washington even put him meeting with former Congresswoman and longtime Clinton supporter Jane Harman at the Wilson Center to talk foreign policy, and hiring a New York-based public relations firm that urged reporters to interview him about gun control and terrorism.

” ‘Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, who is still dealing with the fallout from the 2012 mass shooting in Aurora, is disturbed by [Donald] Trump’s comments about Orlando and is available to discuss it,’ read one emailed pitch.”

For a while, Hickenlooper played coy and avoided outright saying he wanted the job. He finally said he would accept the job if it were offered after meeting with Clinton for an hour while she was in town earlier this month. He told Bloomberg TV’s David Gura:

“If you look at the challenges that this country and the world faces right now, if you’re someone who’s asked, that you’re one of the people that can really make a difference and your country needs you, of course you take it seriously.”

Hickenlooper got as far as the final interview — a visit to Clinton’s house.

He and other candidates were also asked, Politico reports, “to turn over every password for every social media account for every member of their families.” 

It may have also helped that he was a white man, according to the New York Times.

“the campaign, which had become concerned about its deficit with white men, focused on Mr. Kaine and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and looked more closely at Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado.”

It probably didn’t hurt, either, that he’s been pretty vocal about his dislike of Donald Trump. He took the now-Republican nominee to task in the New York Times for his insensitive response to the nightclub shooting in Orlando, and called him a “bully” and “kind of a blowhard” on “Kilmeade and Friends.”

He also went after Trump in a press conference on the steps of Colorado’s capitol, calling him a “blatant and pointed” example of racism.

As we learned on Friday, all the talk and hustle could not secure him the No. 2 spot on the Democratic ticket. But don’t count him out just yet. He could still get a cabinet post.

Ashley Dean contributed to this report.