Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A Pajama Party With Senator Pete; He Phones Home On ABQ Mayor Race; It's Over The Top And As Inside As It Gets; Exclusively Yours On The Tuesday Blog 

Maybe it was all the champagne corks going off at Brad Winter's mayoral campaign headquarters, or the rustling of C notes by the big money givers ready to place their bets. Whatever the reason, Senator Pete Domenici was moved to act swiftly Monday to combat speculation that he was on board the Winter campaign bus and ready to take the drivers seat. In a late night phone call from his D.C. cell phone, the state's senior senator delivered a cryptic and somewhat esoteric message to your humble blogger, but one he assured us everyone would understand. "You have no pajamas!" Pete declared to me. While I understood immediately what he meant, I pressed the senator by saying that might not be enough to persuade the masses that he is disavowing any direct endorsement of Winter, the sole R in the mayor's contest. "Just say that," he snapped before going off on a stream of consciousness jag on various aspects of contemporary New Mexico politics including several references to Big Bill, his 40 year history in "partisan politics" and some lighthearted scatological references about the nature of "that paper you write."

Still, for the man who has served in the U.S senate longer than any New Mexican it all came down to the pajamas. Wrapping up the speculation in political circles on why the 73 year old Domenici would possibly get involved in the mayor's race, I concluded Monday's blog saying, "Hey, I'm just a blogger in worn out pajamas." Hence, Pete's statement that my blogging pajamas are more than worn out--"you have no pajamas"-- should be taken to mean that he is knocking down any implication that he is directly involved in the Winter campaign, despite Winter's use of two fundraisers who also work for Domenici. At least that's how I think it should be taken. But I am just a conduit for the code enshrouded cues and language parsing that is employed at the highest levels of power politics. Undoubtedly, there is a measure of support for the only Republican mayoral candidate from a GOP senator, the nuance seems to be how much and what form it takes.

Captivated and somewhat perplexed, I called the very birthplace of power plays and the legendary "Movida"--ABQ's South Valley. There, an operative who is the very definition of Alligator, parted with this wisdom: "Joe, what you have done is put Pete's picture in the window. He does not want to be seen fully embracing anyone. If he publicly supported Winter wholeheartedly and Winter faltered, Pete would look bad. It might also provoke an unnecessary head-to head-confrontation with the Governor (Dem Big Bill). Pete would like to have a hand in the game, but he does not want a starring role. If he plays it right, noone will ever be quite sure just how much or how little he is supporting a candidate," analyzed our Valley operative speaking from an abode built before Lincoln was President.

Oh, the mysteries of La Politica! And now we add to them "The Pajama Caper." If Senator Pete says everyone will understand what he meant, who am I to argue? So for today let's agree and chant in unison: "Yes, I have no pajamas, I have no pajamas today!"


Gentle Reader, I know after reading today's entry some will wonder whether I have been escaping reality through artificial means. I assure you the events occurred as described. However, as I finish editing this in the wee morning hours, song lyrics come to mind that describe the surreal atmosphere under which I often labor on your behalf. It's from "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square:"

When dawn came stealing up, all gold and blue
To interrupt our rendez-vous,
I still remember how you smiled and said,
"was that a dream? or was it true?"

Long Live La Politica!

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