Hickenlooper just can’t help himself when it comes to hinting at a presidential run

One day after saying he “couldn’t be clearer” about not running, Gov. John Hickenlooper said, “Now, down the road, who knows?”

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Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper's annual State of the State Address. Jan. 12, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  state of the state; copolitics; politics; governor john hickenlooper; capitol; kevinjbeaty; colorado; denver; denverite;

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is giving his State of the State speech in this photo, but he's probably thinking, "I haven't formed a PAC. Yet." (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Denver Post’s John Frank had a story Thursday in which Gov. John Hickenlooper seemed to quash rumors about a 2020 presidential run.

“I thought that couldn’t have been more clear that I wasn’t going to run,” Hickenlooper said, referring back to comments that CNN interpreted as suggesting he might run. “If you were legitimately going to run for president, you’d form a PAC. Literally everyone does. I haven’t formed a PAC. I’m not going to form a PAC.”

When I read this, I said to the Denverite newsroom, “Wanna bet he says something coy in three months?”

Well, it only took one day. Hickenlooper is at Politico’s annual State Solutions Conference, and he was asked about his comments to the Post. His answer: He’s definitely not running for president. For now.

“I’m trying to make Colorado the strongest economy in America, to have a jobs program that really works,” he said. “Now, down the road, who knows? But I am not, I am not right now — no, no, no, and I’ve always said this.”

Down the road, who knows? I mean, who really knows anything about the future?

As Frank noted, this is how the governor tends to express himself, never quite wanting to close any doors.

Hickenlooper likes to go with life’s flow, as his memoir makes clear, and he often declines to take a hard-line stance on questions about his future. His “open mind” approach has generated plenty of trouble for him through the years and sent aides scrambling to clarify his political ambitions and his remarks about policies such as guns and taxes.

Even to Frank, Hickenlooper had to add: “You never rule anything out.”

This latest round of Hick for President speculation was kicked off by an anonymously sourced story in the New York Post that listed Democrats the Trump White House is supposedly worried about for 2020. In addition to Hickenlooper, the list included Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy and Dallas Mavericks owner and perpetual Trump heckler Mark Cuban.