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On the Trail / CANNED GREETING

Did he call fliers 'my friends'?

June 06, 2008|James Hohmann

Next time you're lucky enough to jet into Aspen for a little rest and relaxation, one of the recorded voices greeting you at the Pitkin County airport won't be John McCain's.

Until last month, the dulcet tone of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee was among those heard at the terminal, welcoming visitors and reciting various safety-related warnings. About 40 people have recorded the messages, a mix of celebrities (such as comic David Brenner and actress Jill St. John and her husband, actor Robert Wagner, all of whom have homes in the Colorado resort community) and locals (the mayor, county commissioners, the county manager).

County spokeswoman Pat Bingham added McCain to the mix about a year ago. "I was at a party, and he was there," she said. "And I thought, 'Oh, cool, a senator.' It had nothing to do with my political feelings."

No one else's political feelings seemed to be affected either until a few weeks ago, Bingham said, when "we had one complaint from a guy who thought maybe it would tip the scale of the election or something." So the McCain recording was mothballed.

"Had I been forward- thinking, I should have gotten Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to do one," Bingham said. "Then it would have been equal time."

-- James Hohmann

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