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Hickenlooper’s State of the State Speech: Did He Get It Right?

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Yesterday, Governor John Hickenlooper delivered his annual State of the State address to Colorado legislators and assembled guests. Like the national version, the SoS assesses the state’s (and the governor’s) accomplishments and setbacks during the past year and outlines his administration’s goals for 2014. Like the national version, it features the traditional—and let’s admit it, somewhat silly—ritual of strategic audience responses: Depending on their partisan tilt, the pols clap, don’t clap, stand and clap (but not too long), or stand and clap (extended version).

The latter category is reserved for things anyone can openly care about without fear of retribution from their colleagues or constituencies, e.g., the governor’s heartfelt tribute to slain Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements. It’s with the policy issues that the responses become more calculated, as annual speeches like these shed light on the governor’s likely priorities in the coming year. By dissecting the address we can get some idea of where the legislative battles will be fought during this midterm campaign season.

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VICTORIES

CHALLENGES

Follow 5280 articles editor Luc Hatlestad on Twitter at @LucHatlestad

—Image research by Jerilyn Forsythe

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