President-elect Hickenlooper? It’s got the same number of syllables—nine—as Governor-elect Hickenlooper, and the New York Times’ Sunday Magazine doesn’t resist alluding to them. Of course, John Hickenlooper himself doesn’t entertain such ideas in the Times’ weighty profile, “The John Hickenlooper Exception.”

While many Coloradans outside Denver may know Hick as the “virtuoso goofball” he is, the Times goes beyond the self-deprecating facade to reveal a deeper understanding of the brewer-cum-politico, whose friendly demeanor and cooperative work ethic make him a political anomaly in the U.S. today. And that’s probably what Coloradans need most from a governor at this particular point in time. As Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown says, “Being governor of Colorado right now—it’s like trying to pick your tooth with a rattlesnake.”