You probably heard the story about Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and his Thanksgiving disaster last month. With the holiday fast approaching, Hancock locked down his city again and told everyone that they should stay home for Thanksgiving for the good of the community. He then promptly left for the airport and flew to Mississippi to spend the holiday with his daughter. People noticed. They noticed in a big way. It might not have been quite as bad as having to say “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly,” but it was pretty close. Now, with Christmas almost upon us, Hancock held his first press conference since the Turkey Day Debacle and you can probably guess what one of the first questions was about. (CBS Denver)
The news conference primarily was focused on this week’s arrival of the coronavirus vaccine at Denver Health and the city’s current case numbers, but Hancock said he wanted to take a moment to discuss the situation.
“Elected officials are no different (from anyone else) … we tend to have moments where we disappoint and we make not very good decisions, our judgement can fail us at times. That’s what happened to me over Thanksgiving,” he said…
Hancock on Thursday also stated again that he will not travel over the upcoming Christmas holiday period.
“No and no,” when asked by a reporter if he would be leaving the region in the next two weeks.
Not just “no,” but “no and no.” You can bet that the local press will have someone following him around from now until New Years’ to ensure he makes good on his word. If he spaces out and heads out of town again, he should probably just go ahead and resign before the locals start showing up at his house with torches and pitchforks.
On the one hand, Hancock really does seem as if he’s been sincere in his multiple apologies. He didn’t attempt to pawn off any sort of mealymouthed excuse for why he shouldn’t have to follow his own rules. In that regard, he clearly did much better than Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot did when she had to explain why going to the hairdresser (who was supposed to be closed) was prioritized over doing without as the rest of her citizens had to do. Following the rules is for the little people, you see.
Lightfoot was hardly the only one. Elected officials around the country have been spotted at wine tastings and all manner of events after sending the police to issue fines or lock up businesses who weren’t following the same executive orders that they themselves were violating. The hypocrisy on display has been staggering and I’m frankly amazed that any of these people still have viable political futures. Some don’t, of course. The Mayor of Seattle, Washington clearly saw the writing on the wall after she helped turn her city into an even worse hellscape and announced that she won’t be running for another term.
Hancock, on the other hand, has repeatedly said that he was 100% wrong to fly out for Thanksgiving and taken full responsibility. He now appears ready to suffer under the same restrictions as the denizens of his city. That might just be enough to save his bacon in political terms, but you can be sure that both the press and the public will be watching him with a jaundiced eye.