Hickenlooper’s New Hampshire, Iowa trips show possible presidential bid is serious

Gov. John Hickenlooper

DENVER -- Gov. John Hickenlooper is on vacation this week -- in New Hampshire.

While the term-limited Colorado governor is no stranger to summer holidays near Squam Lake, his visit to help open a New Hampshire Democratic Party field office on Thursday continues to fuel speculation he is seriously preparing a presidential bid.

Hickenlooper will help open the field office in addition to meeting with New Hampshire Young Democrats.

Interviews with local press are also expected, as confirmed by New Hampshire political reporter Paul Steinhauser.

Hickenlooper is also preparing for trips to Iowa in August. Hickenlooper has previously said this summer will be critical in his decision making process.

As for his viability? It's clear he has work to do.

"The average Granite Stater has no clue who John Hickenlooper is," Steinhauser said.

But Steinhauser also said that meeting with the Young Democrats and helping the New Hampshire Democratic Party open a field office are important steps for a run.

"These are two things you would do if you were thinking about making a run for the White House," Steinhauser said.

Political analyst Andy Boian, who has worked with Hickenlooper in the past, said Hickenlooper will not enter unless he thinks he can advance.

"I think what he does not want to do is get in a situation where he loses early," Boian said. "The field will be crowded -- we know that for sure --  so one of the things he'll have to do is go after the big dollars early."

The big questions in Hickenlooper's mind are can he raise the money, does he have a clear path or message, does his family want to do it and does he think he can win?

Hickenlooper's former chief of staff commented on Twitter.