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Friday, December 14, 2007

Guv Struggles To Revive Iowa Chances, Plus: Dem Worry Over ABQ Congress Seat, And: Santa Ben In Santa Fe 

Bill & Hill (The Ticket?)
With his polling average hovering just above 7% in the crucial caucus state of Iowa, Big Bill was hoping for some good spin following the last Democratic debate before the January 3 voting, but he was disappointed. The conventional wisdom on the Guv's performance was summed up up by the WaPo's political blogger:

Unlike past debates where Richardson struggled to make time for himself amid a barrage of questions asked of the frontrunners, today he was awarded ample time to make his case...And, while he didn't fail, he also didn't succeed....Richardson always seems to be trying to put too much into his answers; he was the only one on stage who repeatedly violated the time restrictions, forcing the moderator to interrupt him. Richardson had his moments...but there weren't enough of them, especially when you consider the amount of time he was given.

Predictably, the Richardson campaign saw things differently:

Clearly the most Presidential of the candidates, Richardson turned the conversation back to the most important issue facing America: the war in Iraq. Richardson reiterated his profound commitment to ending the war quickly and safely.


Maybe the flood of New Mexicans Bill is sending into Iowa the week after Christmas will help him do what the polls say he can't--finish third.

ABQ D'S IN DANGER?

The failure of the Democratic controlled Congress to deliver on key issues--ending the Iraq war being the most pressing--is taking a toll on their popularity and, says NM political operative Heather Brewer, impacting Dem chances of winning the ABQ congressional seat next year.

"The base is turned off. They elected Democrats to end the war, and they haven't. That is why there is no excitement over the congressional race. If it continues, (Republican) Darren White will have a better chance of keeping the seat Republican than Democrats have of taking it over. If our base is not excited, they may not vote," Brewer told me recently.

She speaks from a position of authority, having served as communications director for Dem Patricia Madrid who lost last year to ABQ GOP US Rep. Heather Wilson by less than 900 votes. Brewer, a former Capitol Hill press secretary, is now the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice NM. Still, other D's disagree with her, saying the overall political environment favors their party, and overwhelmingly so.

White, the Bernalillo County Sheriff, is being challenged for the GOP nomination by State Senator Joe Carraro, but remains the favorite. The four Dem hopefuls who have filed candidacy papers with the FEC are Martin Heinrich, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Jon Adams and Jason Call.

MORE ERIKA; LESS MYSTERY

The Alligators and the Media Mavens dislike a mystery even more than we do, which is why we weren't surprised that we received a number of tips Thursday after we posted how the departure of KRQE-TV news anchorwoman Erika Ruiz was somewhat of a puzzler. After all, she was the co-anchor of the top rated 10 p.m. newscast in the state. Our top sources peel the onion some more.

"Recently a jet for a station-related promotion involving Erika was chartered at the last minute when a commercial flight was delayed or canceled. The issue was whether permission was given for the charter as it cost the station a lot of money." Informed one of several media insiders.

Also, more on that point made by the ABQ Journal's Bruce Daniels that all three Hispanic female anchors of the evening news are leaving within a month of each other. So far, two have been replaced by Anglos.

SANTA BEN

Ben & Di
Here is Light Guv Diane Denish cozying up to Senate President Pro Tem Ben Altimirano at the recent official lighting of the state Christmas tree in Santa Fe. Altimirano is near 80, but apparently in good health and also apparently seeking another four year term in '08. No wonder Di is singing carols with him. If she ends up in the Guv's chair, it will be Ben and that often balky Senate that could put coal in her stocking...

Email your news, comments or the great American novel you are writing. See ya' later, Gators.


(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2007
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