On Aug. 3, Virginia Gov. James Gilmore joined WAMU Public Interest host Kojo Nnamdi for an on-air discussion about Old Dominion politics. The evening before, Gilmore had received a standing ovation for his four-minute address to the Republican National Convention—intensifying rumors that Gilmore might be tapped for a cabinet post, such as secretary of commerce, in a Bush/Cheney administration. Nnamdi decided to ask whether Gilmore would accept such a position.

Nnamdi: Would you find such an appointment appealing enough to stop your term a year short?

Gilmore: You know, Cujo, I just can’t answer…It’s Cujo?

Nnamdi: Kojo.

Gilmore: Kojo, not Cujo?

Nnamdi: Not Cujo. Kojo.

Gilmore: Oh. Kojo.

Nnamdi: Cujo…Cujo’s a mad dog.

Gilmore then laughed heartily into the microphone, hoping to make light of his confusion between the Guyana-born talk-show host’s name and the Stephen King canine killer. He quickly moved on, never pausing to apologize. Now that’s compassionate conservatism for you.

—Elissa Silverman