Friday, March 23, 2007
Guv Looks To Avoid Ultimate Embarrassment; Senate Holds His Fate, Plus: Our Readers Blog in, And: In Defense Of Lemmings
I found this wording from the Governor's office reacting to the work of the state House quite interesting.
"The stage is set for the Senate to return to work and give an up-or-down vote to these important initiatives. I plan to meet soon with the Senate leadership to discuss the next steps.”
Aren't these kind of statements usually boated with optimism? Not this one. Governor Richardson seems to be looking to avoid the ultimate embarrassment of the Senate simply adjourning again when it reconvenes Saturday, and also preparing the public for a loss if he does get the senate to give his bills an an "up or down vote." The special has been such a mess that just getting the Senate to vote on his program, even if they firmly reject it, will be some kind of victory for the Governor. It has been a long, long time since we have seen Bill Richardson so vulnerable. And he did it to himself, wrapping himself up in both a presidential campaign and an unnecessary special legislative session. As the old saying goes: "A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure."
(We'll post a weekend update here on the special session)
Finally, someone (thanks, MSNBC's Chris Matthews) has asked ex-U.S. Attorney David Iglesias directly if he has any future political plans.
Matthews: Are you a good Republican?
Iglesias: I still am, believe it or not.
Matthews Are you interested in a Republican political career in New Mexico?
Iglesias: No. I'm not.
Matthews: Are you interested in becoming a Democrat?
Iglesias: (laughing) I'm not interested in that either.
The entire video is here. Iglesias indicates he is lining up a private sector job, not necessarily as an attorney.
THE READERS BLOG
Checking the end of the week mailbag we find this comment from a political veteran about our ongoing speculation about who the Democrats will get to run against ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson next year.
"This story ( the U.S. Attorney) has yet to peak, I'm not sure any future candidate would show his or her cards so early in the scandal. (Why should they?) Don't worry, one will emerge... Look for a conservative Hispanic who appeals to Anglos and has his or her own money and has the ability to raise money out of state...I know that (Dem U.S. House) Speaker Pelosi will pour a tremendous amount of national party resources into the state in a year. It will be a slow bleed for Rep. Wilson. It will be tough on her because she is so used to playing offense; without an opponent she has no one to attack. A cornered grizzly is very dangerous, the smart contenders are keeping their distance. Sorry Joe."
Well, there's nothing for me to be sorry about. It's no skin off of my nose if the Dems choose not to field a candidate early, except, of course, the loss of juicy blogging material. As for the purported "smart contenders" keeping their distance, if they are afraid of the "grizzly" now, wait until she emerges from her cave. They'd be better off learning how to handle a hungry bear today.
And if you're inclined to equate weakness at the ballot box for NM GOP U.S Senator Pete Domenici with his lower approval numbers we blogged about Thursday, the inimitable ABQ South Valley Alligator Andrew Leo Lopez writes: "It is folly to equate disapproval with the same at the ballot box. Pete wins by his usual 72.0%. Flip side applies too. Marty Chavez had very high approval as ABQ mayor in his first term and bombed in Albuquerque when he ran for governor in 1998. Approval or disapproval on street is not equivalent to same at ballot box."
I'm not as sanguine about Pete's numbers as Andrew. There is a correlation between the approval rating and what a candidate polls Election Night. Look at Bush. They manged to get him up to 50% before the '04 election , and that's about where he finished with real voters. Also, Pete does not usually win by his "usual 72%." He won in 1996 and 2002 with 65%. As for Marty, he could have easily won re-election as mayor if he was up in '98. But voters applied a different standard to him when he sought higher office, and his performance as mayor was not transferable.
IN DEFENSE OF LEMMINGS
Roswell GOP State Rep. Dan Foley has a well-known barbed tongue, but Wednesday, as he ached with exasperation over the Governor calling the Legislature into special session, the House Minority Whip, inadvertently we are sure, maligned the little rodent known as a lemming. Here's how he ripped into supine House Dems who, unlike their Senate counterparts, stayed in session and went to work on Big Bill's special agenda.
"You guys are lemmings. If he told you to head off a cliff, you'd run with him and away you'd go."
Foley may have a point in his attempt to characterize House D's as mostly unquestioning followers of Big Bill, but as we learn from Wikpedia, their behavior , contrary to popular myth, is not "lemming-like."
"While many people believe that lemmings commit mass suicide when they migrate, this is not actually the case. Lemmings will often migrate in large groups and as a result some lemmings will occasionally be pushed off cliffs or drowned in bodies of water simply by the press of their compatriots."
So, if we're picking members of the animal kingdom to describe the personalities of our beloved solons, let's get it right.
For House Dems, we would suggest their behavior is akin to a school of fish in a large aquarium. When Big Bill taps on the glass, they swim together with fear-inspired ferocity. For the House R's, we'll settle for the mundane, but oh so fitting 'bull in the china closet' analogy. Over in the Senate, it is a rebellious group of Dems who threaten to derail the entire special session. Let's dub them the Wild Palominos, after the horse our Native American friends would capture on the wide-open plains, break in and then ride to hunt, but good luck to anyone trying to tame the likes of Jennings, Smith, Sanchez, et al. But then our Governor is the "Big Dog," as in "Let the Big Dog Eat First."
Maybe the bulls and the Palominos will move over for him, but we wouldn't bet our lemmings on it.
I'm Joe Monahan, reporting to you from Albuquerque, NM.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2007
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