Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Elephant Awakens; GOP Radio Dubs Big Bill A "High Class Showboat," Attack $5 Million Jet Plane Purchase; Spot Airs In East Too; Lasting Impact? 

Oh, what a sleep it's been. For two and a half years the party of the elephant has been napping while Big Bill has made our Enchanted Land his personal playground. But Wednesday the slumber ended abruptly as the NM GOP shrugged off the Sominex and hit the NM radio airwaves with a blast at Big Bill's purchase of a $5 million jet airplane. The June Jolt was also pointedly placed on the New Hampshire airwaves where the Guv was testing the waters for a possible Dem prez run in 08'.

"This was a good shot. They may not have a candidate, but they do have a commercial and it hits the spot," declared one Alligator with no dog in the fight. "The purchase of the airplane is going to be a sore point in a small, poor state like ours and all the spin doctors are not going to be able to overcome the resentment. The question remains whether this is a one shot deal and people forget or whether it's something that the R's can make stick and finally keep him on the defensive for more than a couple of days,"

Obviously, the R's are hoping for lasting impact. And they are also hoping to drum up excitement in their asleep at the switch party which has no major candidates for Guv or U.S. senate. "Who is going to give them money if they just lay there? It's about time they did something," said one R veteran who also said he thinks the national party is spurring this one on to hurt Big Bill's prez chances. "The national guys see an opportunity here and are pushing. If they can slow down any Dem's presidential chances, they will. It also comes on the heels of Republican Brand Winter's entry into the ABQ mayor's race, also perhaps inspired by the national party," explained our deep insider.

As we blogged Wednesday, Big Bill has been able to make the bold moves without fear of organized opposition. Some R's in the Legislature even supported the plane purchase and the Guv's office knocked the radio ad as "malicious" and "full of lies." But the issue is the kind that brings the uninvolved public to life. Until now, the Guv has been hitting political home runs, but there are few, if any, perfect games in the centuries old game of La Politica. At the least, the plane purchase is going to be scored an error. At worst, a turning point in the game. Stay tuned.

Steve Forbes
Not all R's are foes of Big Bill. A couple of weeks ago conservative Republican publisher and onetime prez candidate Steve Forbes dropped in on ABQ to tout an upcoming issue of his Forbes magazine featuring New Mexico, and surprising to some, to praise our state's top Democrat, Big Bill. But it's a former employee of Forbes' who has turned out to be one of the more prominent, persistent and effective NM media critics of the Guv. Steve Lawrence, editor of Crosswinds Weekly, once worked for Forbes in New York City and now regularly rips into Big Bill from the left of the political spectrum. Being knowledgeable in the biz area, the erudite Lawrence regularly focuses his wrath on Big Bill's tax cuts and his belief that the NM economy has not done much since the Big Guy took over.

While the Guv can be happy that many R's, like Forbes, warm to his economic policies, the shouts on the left have to be a bit worrisome for someone seeking the Dem prez nomination. The liberals have more than a bit of influence in that decision. By the way, Forbes was asking New Mexico businesses to cough up $80,000 for a one page ad in the NM issue which will circulate 900,000 copies. Did that influence his praise of Big Bill? Just asking.

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