John McCain’s voice headed for standby at Aspen airport? |

John McCain’s voice headed for standby at Aspen airport?

John Colson
The Aspen Times
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” It’s offseason, and now that travelers aren’t quite so frenzied, they might give a little start of amazement one day to hear Republican presidential candidate John McCain addressing them over the public address system at the Aspen airport.

No, it’s not a mistake or a lapse in hearing abilities.

It actually is, or has been, the real McCain, whose voice was taped as part of a Pitkin County promotional program that was launched about a year ago ” and whose voice is not likely to be featured in this way any longer.

A visitor to Aspen this week, Hans Figi of Denver, was mildly perturbed to hear McCain’s voice and called The Aspen Times to find out why the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport seemed to be indirectly supporting McCain’s candidacy.

Figi called back shortly before boarding his plan, however, saying he believed he had just heard U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton’s voice on the PA system, “so maybe it’s not such a big deal after all.”

The reaction surprised Pitkin County community relations officer Pat Bingham, who came up with the promotion and has been adding new voices to it as they come available.

But Bingham said that, while “we’d love to have Hillary Clinton on there, if only she’d come here,” Figi was mistaken and that the voice he heard belonged to Pitkin County Manager Hilary Fletcher.

“Wait ’til I tell her,” Bingham said of Figi’s mistaken impression. “She’ll crack up.”

As for McCain’s voice, Bingham said, “He was here visiting and we grabbed him at a party. … It had nothing to do with anyone’s politics.”

But, she added, “It’s probably not a good idea to have that on right now, is it?”

Bingham pledged to cut McCain’s voice from the roster of voices that includes locals such as Mayor Mick Ireland; actress Jill St. John; musician Bobby Mason; county commissioners Dorothea Farris, Michael Owsley and Patti Clapper; former snow sports champions Andy Mill and Chris Klug; and ski apparel legend and yodeler Klaus Obermeyer. Valley native and columnist Tony Vagneur also is heard hollering like a cowboy on a cattle drive as he advises visitors to keep their dogs on a leash.

“I’ve been having fun with it,” Bingham said in her own defense. “I like doing stuff like that.”

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