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One resident headed for the Democratic National Convention

Brief by Central Staff

Politics – March 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

At least one Central Colorado resident will be attending the Democratic National Convention that runs Aug. 25-28 in Denver.

That resident will doubtless have a voice, if not a vote. Mordecai, a 7-year-old donkey owned by Curtis Imrie of Buena Vista, was selected as the official convention mascot on Jan. 26 at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. The burro was shown by Sophie Herzog of Fairplay.

There were 10 entries — three of them belonging to Imrie — and they were judged by a panel of stock show and Democratic officials, among them Leah Daughtry, the chief executive of the Democratic National Convention Committee. She said she was looking for “traits our candidate will have also — the right amount of vigor and energy, a cool temper but feisty when you need to be.”

Another judge, Sen. Ken Salazar, said “I loved Mordecai. He was poised and very charismatic, I also loved the youthfulness of Sophie, his handler, and her ability to take care of him.”

Imrie said that “a better donkey couldn’t have been chosen. He’s patient, loyal, everything the Democratic Party stands for. Hopefully, he’ll be able to put some humor back into politics.”

Imrie has been heard to observe that “The donkey is living proof that God has a sense of humor.” Curtis is a three-time world-champion pack-burro racer and a frequent, though to date unsuccessful candidate for public office, ranging from county commissioner to state legislature to U.S. Congress.

Imrie had three donkeys in the Democratic contest; the other two were Further and Masaai, with whom our publisher is acquainted. Several years ago, Imrie invited Ed Quillen up to his place on a summer afternoon. Upon arrival, Ed learned that Curtis wanted some “live dunnage” for a training run with Masaai. Ed gamely boarded the saddle, but the stirrups were too small for his boots, leading to a rather uncomfortable ride. Or as Ed put it, “that ride was a pain on the ass.”

The donkey has been a symbol of the Democratic Party since 1828, when Democratic President Andrew Jackson was portrayed as one.

No word yet on the duties of the Official Mascot, but some public appearances at parades and the like are probably in store as the convention nears, as well as one or more appearances at the convention.

And if Democrats are going after religious voters this year, they can point out that the donkey is the correct answer to the question “What did Jesus drive?”