Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Big Bill's Two Campaigns; A Balancing Act, Plus: NM GOP Chair Still Firm On War, And: An Anti-War Song You Gotta Hear; It's Your Tuesday Blog 

Steve Murphy
Big Bill's Guv campaign is going out of its way to knock down a report from the national poltical blog the Wonkette that Big Bill held a retreat at the Guv's Mansion to "refine his message" for an anticipated 08' Prez run. The Guv's team insists that the retreat was to talk about the re-elect here, not a national bid, but on Monday the Wonkette remained skeptical. Since the Guv's folk are determined to take this quite seriously, and since we first brought notice of the report to NM, maybe we can help sort it out.

One of those at the retreat was Steve Murphy, a noted national Dem strategist who managed the 04' Prez run of Dem Richard Gephardt, perhaps giving rise to the report that the retreat was a confab over Big Bill's Prez prospects. But the Guv's campaign manager, Amanda Cooper, confirmed to me Monday that Murphy will be producing the TV and radio spots for the Guv's NM re-elect.

Murphy will be busy in NM this year as the veteran consultant is also doing the TV for Dem congressional hopeful Patricia Madrid. Murphy is with the firm Murphy Putnam Media (no Web site) in Alexandria Va., started in politics in the early 70's and has been in over 20 campaigns, including several for Dem governors.

It won't be Murphy's first encounter with La Politica. Back in 98' he went to bat for Dem congressional hopeful Phil Maloof who was the first opponent of ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson. Maybe Murphy's early Heather lessons will help him make the grade for Patsy.

Back to those strenuous objections by the Guv's team on the blog retreat report. Apparently they are sensitive to suggestions that he is more interested in the Prez run than re-election and fear this could turn off voters here, a line of attack already being mined by the GOP. Cooper did not entirely dismiss the Wonkette report, agreeing that the meeting "centered" on New Mexico strategy.

As for when the Guv will go up on the tube, it was a matter "being discussed" at the Guv's downtown ABQ headquarters on Monday, according to Cooper. Big Bill is unopposed in the June primary, but it's widely anticipated that he will have a TV buy in May to rally the party faithful. Since the Guv is unopposed, I pressed Cooper to give details on any May TV. "I don't want to be an Alligator," she responded. Maybe I should have promised her a T-shirt.


Cooper was not about to hem the Guv in on his campaign spending. In other words, that $10 million mark being bandied about could be reached. (The Guv rasied over $8 million in 02'.) Some Alligators said here Monday that in light of his renewed call for campaign ethics reform the Guv and his GOP opponent, J.R. Damron, could voluntarily agree to limit spending. Ah, hope springs eternal.

And what will the Guv's TV spots concentrate on when they do hit the air? Like the Guv's term, expect a wide variety of issues, but Cooper did speak glowingly of the Big Bill record on "jobs and the economy." You might say: "It's the economy stupid--again."

The bottom line is that whatever was discussed at the Mansion retreat, Big Bill has a delicate balancing act in running for Guv and also laying the groundwork for an 08' Prez run. He wants to do both without appearing to be riding too high on the Prez horse as he searches for votes on the ground in little ol' New Mexico.


He is among a dwindling number of optimists when it comes to the no-end-in-sight Iraq war, but NM GOP Chairman Allen Weh, a retired Reserve Marine colonel, who was called up to Iraq a couple of years ago to help train that nation's army, says when the "political angst" is gone Iraq will be "a success story."

Weh predicts it will take another "three or four years" to get the Iraqi army up to snuff and allow the U.S. to exit. Weh's sunny views are airing nationally on a video running on the national Republican Web site. (Click Episode 7.)


Of course, if the polls are right there are many more detractors than supporters of the Prez's war policy. Bush recently called himself the "decider" when cries grew loud for the firing of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. That moniker is the launching pad for this wild anti-war, anti-Bush song airing on another national Web site. It reminds me of the 60's anti-war protests. Beatles fans and Bush bashers alike will get a kick out of this one, but R's will be getting out the earplugs.

E-mail me your news and comments. I received quite a few takes on the Monday minimum wage blog and will post some this week.

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