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Colorado Governor: My Wife Offered to Stay With Me If I Ran for President

“If you want to run for president, I’m in. We’ll stay married. I’ll figure it out and I’ll be fine.”

1:36 PM, Jan 24, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, told the New York Times that his wife offered to stay married to him, if he was planning to run for president. The first couple of Colorado is currently separated.

Frank Bruni of the Times reports: 

Recently I visited Colorado, whose governor, John Hickenlooper, is another prominent Democrat sometimes mentioned in connection with 2016. I met up with him just a few hours after his State of the State address. Its distinctions included this: when he thanked his wife, Helen Thorpe, for coming to hear it, he was reminding Coloradans that the two had separated midway through 2012, less than two years into his first term.

“I greatly appreciate Helen being here today,” he told the gathered lawmakers. Then, mentioning their 10-year-old son, he added, “Even with the changes in our life, she remains a beacon of light to me and Teddy.”

Then, Bruni offers this anecdote:

During my recent conversations with Hickenlooper, he brought up Thorpe readily and repeatedly. She’s a journalist, and he proudly described her progress on a new book. He expressed sorrow that the public eye and the whirl of his political life had never really suited her. When they married in 2002, his political career had really yet to begin.

He said that over the last few years, as he rose in political prominence, they were careful to carve out private time, thinking that that would do the trick. He was sure to be home with his wife by 7 p.m. at least four of every seven nights, he said.

But, he said: “There was just always somebody interrupting. She’s someone who just thinks so deeply and feels so deeply — it was just so distracting for her. I didn’t appreciate that properly.”

If he hadn’t run for governor, I asked, would the marriage have survived? “It’s conceivable,” he said. Then he volunteered that when they discussed separating, she had told him: “If you want to run for president, I’m in. We’ll stay married. I’ll figure it out and I’ll be fine.”

Hickenlooper calls his soon-to-be ex-wife's offer "amazingly generous." And though Hickenlooper doesn't say he won't run for president, "He turned down that offer," according to Bruni.

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