If there's anything a politico like Big Bill hates to be called it's "lame-duck." He went to work Monday to banish that phrase from the realm of La Politica when he told an ABQ Chamber of Commerce crowd that he is definitely seeking re-election in 06.' No jaws dropped and there were no audible gasps. The "news" that our Guv was running for re-election was about as surprising as watching paint dry. One wag wondered whether Bill had called Sen. Jeff and received word that he is a go for 06' and for Bill not to trouble himself with that quite unlikely senate vacancy.
But what really focused political eyes was how he tied his announcement to the upcoming 60 day legislative session: "This next legislative session is the most important I have had because it is the last 60-day session before I will run for re-election, which I intend to do," declared Big Bill.
Was there an implied threat to lawmakers who might not have the Guv's agenda in mind? Threat might be too strong a word, but the Guv was highly active in this year's legislative campaigns and by tying his re-elect plans to the legislative action he seemed to be killing two birds with one stone: "I am not a lame-duck" and "If necessary, I will be around for pay back on the campaign trail."
What he said on the surface also rings true. He wants most of his agenda implemented in this session so he will have a nice fat platform to run on. The Big Bill prestige meter took a dip when Kerry lost NM and the Alligators started talk of harpooning and then beaching the Big Guy at the Roundhouse. He let it be known Monday that he still prefers to do the targeting.
SLUMMING WITH THE CHAMBER
I spoke about NM politics to an informed audience at one of those Chamber seminars Monday, along with top NM lobbyist Scott Scanland. The speculation there was more about Big Bill's Prez plans than his Guv duties. How will those plans shade his legislative efforts over the next couple of years? Inquiring minds will want to know.
Also on hand at the Chamber confab was a piece of NM history, Used-To-Be- House Speaker Raymond Sanchez who, appropriately enough, tutored the attendees on "The History of New Mexico Politics." Raymond is getting his thrills the vicarious way these days: watching his new Senate Majority leader brother Michael Sanchez. The Guv has been known to work Michael thru Raymond (how shocking!) who is now NM Democratic National Committeeman. But now that Michael is a Really Big Brother you wonder who will be working whom? Or is it whom will be working who? Well, either way it adds up to the art of the deal.
I am off hunting Alligators in Santa Fe today. If you see me on the Plaza looking disoriented and reading the Legislative bill digest from last year, don't let on. I will attempt to report on my activities, unless sworn to secrecy by a cult of wayward Penitentes passing out re-elect pamphlets for the Guv.
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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2004
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