Monday, January 21, 2008
Insiders Say Big Bill Expected To Come With Prez Endorsement Before Super Tuesday, Plus: Challenger Of House Leader Foley Makes It Official
Big Bill will be back playing presidential politics, and soon. That's the word from his inner circle, with one of them relaying word that the New Mexico governor, who pulled out of the Dem Prez race this month, will endorse one of the remaining contenders prior to Super Tuesday, February 5.
Who will get the Guv's nod and what impact, if any, will it have on the NM Dem caucus, one of those February 5th states? Well, President Bill Clinton did give Richardson two high-profile jobs--UN ambassador and energy secretary, but then there was that little tiff in Iowa this month where the Bill campaign was said to have told its supporters to go with Obama, not Hillary, as their second choice. But considering his lengthy history with the Clinton's, an endorsement of anyone other than Hillary would merit being labeled a surprise.
Richardson supporters are splitting their support now that he is out of the race. That gives the Guv boots in both camps. For example, Dem heavy Ed Romero is supporting Hillary, but major money players Paul Blanchard, owner of the Downs at ABQ and Jamie Koch, former NM Dem Party chair, are with Obama.
The state Dem party set an early deadline and the Guv's name will be on the February 5th ballot here even though he has withdrawn from the race. His endorsement could sway some of his loyalists, but it may be more significant for his own political future. By endorsing a candidate before February 5th the governor would be tossing his support at a time when the race is still undecided, giving him more leverage if the candidate he endorses were to eventually win.
If he waits until after February 5th when 22 states hold caucuses or primaries, the race could be decided or close to it and a Richardson endorsement would be worth little if anything. The Guv has been mentioned as a possible VP candidate or secretary of state if the Dems were to capture the White House in November. Do the insiders have this one nailed down? Stay tuned.
STATE HOUSE BATTLE
One of the hotter state House GOP primaries this year promises to be in the Roswell area. We told you a while back that retired FBI agent Dennis Kintigh was planning to run against GOP House Minority Leader Dan Foley. Now Kintigh has made it official. This will be a marquee race in the '08 cycle as factions of the GOP struggle for control in Chaves county.
THE BOTTOM LINES
Thanks to Paul Gutierrez, executive director of the NM Association of Counties, for the hospitality last week at the association's annual convention. I spoke to the crowd at the El Dorado Hotel and not one rotten tomato was thrown. Also, thanks to Mike Anaya, the association President and the hundreds of county officials in attendance. Drop me a line if you're group is interested in having us stop by to talk La Politica.
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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2008
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