Colorado Governor and Wife Split, Happily

Aug 1, 2012 4:18pm
gty john hickenlooper helen thorpe ll 120801 wblog Colorado Governor and Wife Split, Happily

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Take a deep breath, Colorado: Your governor and first lady are separating. After 10 years of marriage, Gov. John Hickenlooper, a potential 2016 Democratic presidential contender, and his wife, Helen Thorpe, have announced they are splitting up.

But this doesn’t change how they feel about you. In fact, per a statement released today, they still hope to be invited to your future parties and social gatherings. ”We will not find it awkward,” they promise.

Along with their son, Teddy, 10, Hickenlooper and Thorpe will “continue functioning as a family that spends a great deal of time together.”

“In fact,” they say, “we will embark on our annual family vacation together this week, share meals often, and plan to spend holidays together.”

And just to be clear (the statement jumps to the third person, here): “Both the Governor and Ms. Thorpe want the public to know that neither has had an affair,” and the decision was only made after “extended counseling.”

So what did it? A look back at a Denver Post article on the governor and his wife from February 2011, seems to hint at a certain simmering issue — the first lady not wanting to be, well, “first lady”:

Thorpe would drop the honorific altogether except that might cause a bigger stink.

“We checked. I would be the only person in the country that we could find who declined to use the title officially. And that just seemed a little pioneering. I didn’t necessarily want to be the first one.”

That would only invite media scrutiny, she figures.

Throughout the campaign, “maybe as a coping strategy,” she says, she declined to think about how life would change if Hickenlooper won. “I really lived in a fabulous state of denial about it.”

One final note from the Hickenloopers: “While the Governor will be moving into the Governor’s Mansion, he will also continue to spend time with his son at their private home.”

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