Friday, December 08, 2006
Big Bill Lays An Egg; Premature Prez Announcement Splatters, Plus: R's Bedeviled By Paranoia Prepare For Central Commitee Meeting
Egg splattered across the embryonic presidential bid of Big Bill Thursday as he misspoke and uttered the magic words "I am running" during a Fox News interview. But instead of taking his lumps and wiping the egg away with a serving of humor, the Governor and his multi-headed press staff proceeded to make matters worse by insisting the Guv's statement that danced across the Internet at lightning speed was taken out of context and that the Guv was not running for the 08' Dem prez nomination, at least not yet. They then tore into Fox for having "incorrectly reported that Governor Richardson has announced he will run for president."
Was the statement taken out of context? Did Fox jump the gun? The answer to both questions is maybe.
Did the Guv say he is "running" in the present tense? Yes, he did.
"I am Hispanic, which I believe is an asset, but I'm not running as an Hispanic, I am running as an American who is proud to be Hispanic."
We all know the rules at this level of the game. If there is any room for doubt, the candidate does not get the benefit of it. Why? Because you want to lead the most powerful nation on Earth. Any questions?
As is usual with these cases of jangled nerves under the harsh glare of the national spotlight, the reaction to the mistake was worse than the error. News executives at ABQ TV stations were called by the Guv's PR machine and implored not to cover the story! What did that make them do? Cover it even more, of course.
Richardson has indicated he will announce an exploratory committee for Prez in early January. Besides robbing him of another media opportunity down the road, announcing an actual candidacy now would have legal ramifications. But Big Bill will soon be all in and reacting so heatedly to his semantic error gets him off to a shaky start in a scene crowded with heavyweights like Hillary Clinton. When he could have made light of the incident and retracted the error, he showed an unnecessarily heavy hand that will have the pundits and media poking at him again to see if they can get another rise out of him.
The snake Big Bill is now playing with bites. Where are his national snake handlers; the operatives who know the venom will spew and have the antidote? Obviously, their time has come.
PARANOIA IN THE PARTY
The leadership of the NM GOP insists there is nothing unusual or underhanded planned for a meeting of the GOP State Central Committee Saturday morning at the ABQ Hilton Inn, but the party has been so torn asunder by factional infighting and a June Central Committee move that unexpectedly replaced J.R. Damron with John Dendahl as the GOP Guv nominee, that it has been unable to calm the troops.
Former GOP Chair John Lattauzio is one of many R's waving caution flags about the meeting. He fears that State Chairman Allen Weh could resign at a session of the GOP executive committee scheduled before the main event and a replacement named that would be satisfactory to those in power, but not to disgruntled Republicans like Lattauzio who want Weh out, but replaced by a chairman who will take the party in a dramatic new direction.
"Every Republican Party member interested in the future of our Party should make an effort to attend this meeting. When actions like the replacement of a candidate or a chairman take place, they generally stick. I have informed the Party that I do not believe that they are correct in excluding proxies. I will be carrying one proxy that I know of and I encourage you to request proxies for those you wish to represent.
"The Party has lost its way, and I wish to play a part in restoring it to its former position as an organization reflective of all New Mexico Republicans." So said Lattauzio in a statewide e-mail to R's sharing his views.
Weh's term is set to expire in April. If he did call it quits, a replacement would only fill out the remaining months of his term. A fight for the leadership of the party is expected then no matter what takes place this weekend.
The state GOP says the Saturday meeting will conduct a budget review and discuss the Nov. 7 elector results and that no other business will be conducted or voted upon. But as you can see from Lattauzio's missive, paranoia runs deep which is why he is warning allies to show up with proxies in case the unusual and unexpected happens as it did with Dendahl and Damron back in June. We'll keep you posted.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2006
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