Thursday, October 12, 2006

Is The Noose Tightening? Top R Analyst Says It's Madrid's To Lose. Plus: Heather On Radio: Not Too Buzzed, And: Tidbits From The Trail 

The noose appears to be tightening. Conservative Republican political analyst Robert Novak has moved the Wilson-Madrid battle for the ABQ congressional seat into the "lean Democrat" column, yet another sign that a historic upset here is a very real possibility. Writing in his e-mail newsletter, Novak, who is known for his top contacts among D.C. R's, put it this way:

Districts such as that of Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.), always closely divided, cannot be counted on to perform as in the past, given that the tide running away from the GOP right now.

Some districts now merit Democrats' efforts and resources in a way they never could have just two weeks ago. Republicans are on the defensive all across the map, and the map keeps getting bigger." So wrote Novak.

The Novak switch on the race came into focus as Congresswoman Wilson appeared on the 770 KKOB-AM airwaves Wednesday where passion was noticeably missing, but the ginned up phone calls from the Patricia Madrid camp were not. This, on the state's "conservative station." How could Wilson's campaign allow her to be bushwhacked there? (No pun intended.)

Forgive me for being an armchair Freud, but Heather's heart just did not seem in it. When asked what would be the difference if Madrid won and she lost, she quipped;" "Your taxes would go up" and "missile defense" would be put in jeopardy. Taxes? Missile defense? This after three months of pounding Attorney General Madrid over alleged ethical lapses? What happened to that? It hasn't worked, that's what.

On TV, Wilson's campaign is now in the jello stage with her campaign, national interest groups and the D.C. R's throwing everything up against the wall on Madrid and seeing what sticks.


Meanwhile, Madrid remains largely under wraps. The strategy is to walk this one home, barring a jarring change in the national environment or a late negative bombshell from Heather. She will not appear, or will appear very selectively on radio or other venues that would give her the opportunity to screw up and alter the landscape. She will do the October 24 KOB-TV debate with Heather and that will be it. As for a theme, that's easy--it's all-Iraq, just about all the time.

The strangest thing about Heather's appearance yesterday was the aforementioned Iraq. It was not mentioned even once during the hour. Of course, Heather does not want it brought up. But it was the elephant in the room and it is being roused. The question now is will it stampede or simply trot. Either way, Heather Wilson is directly in its path.


While Heather was going through the motions, her fellow NM GOP U.S. Rep., Steve Pearce, was apparently feeling the shifting landscape too and put up radio ads attacking his unknown and underfinanced Dem opponent, Al Kissling.

Pearce calls the affable Las Cruces Reverend Kissling "extreme" and "bizarre." But so is the political mood and Pearce could find himself coming up with less impressive victory as the Dems even pick up steam in the south where the Bible Belters are disgusted with Foleygate and where many could just decide to sit this one out. Pearce will put up his TV next week and try to move this one to the 60% mark he hit in 04'. It is not a no-brainer that he will get there this time.


Rep. Emanuel
The Madrid campaign was quick to go ballistic over the recent ABQ semi-secret visit of Bush political architect Karl Rove, saying the R's were trying to hide the Bushie from the public for fear of losing votes.

But it seems both sides have something to hide. U.S. Rep and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Rahm Emanuel D-Ill) was in ABQ Wednesday, but the Madrid campaign did their best to keep it a secret. They did say he held a fundraiser for Madrid and offered her advice on the race, but they would not say where the lunch was or how much was raised.

Heather asked out loud if Congressman Rahm had any knowledge of the disgraced Congressman Foley's activities, claiming he wasn't too clear about it in a recent interview. She did that as she was asked how well she knew Foley who donated $8,000 to her campaigns, money she has donated to charity.

We are told that the DCCC boss has a soft spot for the state as he and his wife honeymooned here. It's fine for lovers to keep their secrets, Rahm. But this is no honeymoon. It is a political campaign--the people's business--or at least it used to be. The former Clinton White House aide did take time for a phone interview with KKOB house liberal Richard Eeds, an interview that will air on the station today.


The race for attorney general appears closed out--55% for Gary King n the latest polling-- but that isn't stopping R hopeful Jim Bibb from hammering Dem King over his long ago voting record as a legislator. We're told he was at at it again Tuesday night at a forum in El Dorado, NM where he acknowledged that King missed a lot of legislative votes following a serious car accident, but maintained the missing votes he cites did not include the time frame around the accident. Interestingly, King did not make the forum. He had his primary opponent, Geno Zamora, stand in for him. Want more of this? Tune in for a King-Bibb debate tonight at 6 on KANW 89.1 FM in ABQ/Santa Fe.


Here's more on all the green stuff floating into the campaigns. No big surprises but some interesting tidbits from the reports filed with the state this week.


Is Big Bill dissing, promoting or not doing much of anything with Heather Wilson in his ad touting how he helped keep Cannon Air Force Base open. We blogged this one yesterday after readers pointed out that Heather is pictured in the ad for a brief moment. The consensus verdict on this is summed up in this email: "The ad has Heather right under the headline: "Pentagon to close Clovis" accompanied with spooky music. I think it is far from a promo."

So that puts the Bill makes peace with Heather conspiracy to rest. What's next? I am sure my mail will have the answer soon.

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