Election 2008


No matter your party affiliation, there's a real fever that runs through conventiongoers, a palpable giddiness about possibility and parties. As tens of thousands of Democrats descend on Denver this week, they may want some guidance. So we turned to a native son and, in the spirit of bipartisanship, a Republican, John Andrews. Mr. Andrews is a former Colorado Senate president and chairman of Backbone America, a national conservative alliance, as well as host of Backbone Radio and a columnist for the Denver Post. Mr. Andrews, thanks so much for being with us.

SIMON: Hey, good morning, Scott. Good to be with you.

SIMON: So if a Democrat asked you for the best place to get something to eat, you might say, what?

SIMON: You know, I run a monthly luncheon group called the Conservative Conspiracy. We go to the oldest steakhouse in Denver. It's called the Buckhorn Exchange, founded 1893. Buffalo Bill himself is alleged to have eaten there. The walls are just jammed with game trophies. And all those vegetarian, tofu-eating Democrat delegates that want to have a real Rocky Mountain dining experience, they need to go the Buckhorn Exchange.


SIMON: And if I asked for a beer? There's no way around the local favorite, Coors. Anything else you'd recommend?

SIMON: Well, with the Coors loyalty to all my conservative causes, I obviously have to mention them first. But up the road, in Fort Collins, there's a little outfit called New Belgium Brewing. Their Fat Tire, I think, is enjoyed all across the country, but if you want to have it very close to home, lots of great microbrews.

SIMON: What's the one thing people shouldn't leave Denver without seeing?

SIMON: For Democratic visitors, I would say that the Denver Mint, just a block from the state Capitol, is a natural because with all the money that's going to need to be printed to pay for Obama's campaign promises, you are going to want to see where they create the stuff from scratch.


SIMON: Denver is certainly a beautiful town.

SIMON: We love it. Mile high exactly. If you go to the brass marker on the third step up to the state Capitol, where I used to frequent as a state senator years ago, you're looking up to the front range of the Rocky Mountains, a ridge at about twice that height, and then beyond that some of our majestic 14,000-foot peaks. You can actually drive to the top of Longs Peak immediately west of Denver at Pikes(ph) Peak. You'd have to be somewhat lax in your carbon footprint standards for yourself if you did that.

SIMON: You mean, by driving up, as opposed to hiking.

SIMON: Well, that's right. Although if you hike, you'd want to exhale shallowly because there's also that carbon footprint every time you breathe out. So there's really no escaping it. Someone who is in reasonably good shape could make that hike. But I wouldn't want to have it on my conscience than any out-of-shape couch potato, Democratic convention visitors, had a health episode up on the high country. So I would caution people, make sure you're in good shape.

SIMON: John Andrews, among other things, is the host of Backbone Radio. Thanks so much for your guidance.

SIMON: My pleasure, Scott.

SIMON: This is NPR News.

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