Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Won't you take me to Honkeytown?

In the Denver mayoral race, Chris Romer and Michael Hancock are going to a runoff election next month. Here's how the Denver Post begins its contrast piece about the two candidates today:
Romer is a white, affluent native of Denver whose father was a popular three-term governor and who spent a career in the world of banking.
Michael Hancock is an African-American who overcame a poor upbringing to become a Denver councilman and get elected twice as City Council president.
Anyone want the spoiled white banker? Yeesh. Tough coverage for Romer. I suppose one could argue that the Post is trying to plug a party narrative into a nonpartisan race, casting Romer as the Republican and Hancock as the Democrat. Of course, both men are Democrats, as are the bulk of the city's voters. Sure, Romer has the backing of Republican Josh Penry, but Hancock is getting money from John Elway, so I guess they're about even on Republican-ness.

Sounds like Romer is going to have to spend some more time kissing up to Post reporters.


Robert said...

I think you're overreading that. Or, put another way, what would be a neutral description of who Chris Romer is? If I were a reporter tasked with writing a vanilla summary of Chris Romer I'd start with the facts of who his dad is and what he has done for a living.

Seth said...

The coalition-building son of a governor who charted his own path in the public and private sectors? Or is that too puffy?

Robert said...

Your question answers itself. But on reflection I agree that referring to him just as a banker doesn't do justice to the public service work he has done.

Romer has the George W. Bush condition of being his father's son: the thing that opens the most doors for him by its nature also diminishes him.

Seth said...

Well spoken.

I think the word "banker" has a rather negative connotation these days, and I'm surprised how little reference there has been to his work in the state senate, where he compiled a pretty decent set of policy accomplishments.