Friday, September 12, 2008

Some Campaign Curveballs Explored, Plus: Lady Di's "Bat" Problem, And: Other Clippings From The Blog's Newsroom Floor 

The campaigns kept us interested this week, delivering a few unexpected curve balls. The latest was the AARP complaining that Dem ABQ congressional hopeful Martin Heinrich was proving difficult to pin down for an October 17 prime time debate on KRQE-TV with GOP rival Darren White. Isn't the lesser known candidate--in this case Heinrich--supposed to be aching for TV face-offs? White has accepted the debate invitation which news anchor Dick Knipfing told us earlier in the week "was in the works."

Heinrich's campaign is putting a lot of emphasis on the field operation and getting out the vote, but avoiding a debate could become a PR gaffe that more than offsets work they are doing below the radar. Maybe they believe the early polling showing them ahead and now see risk to a debate. Whatever the political calculation, Heinrich and White have an obligation to present themselves. If either of these novies to the statewide stage tries to avoid TV face-offs the media and the public need to spank them hard. We'll keep you posted.


The Obama campaign took heat this week when a schedule of exceptionally high-dollar fundraisers set up for Caroline Kennedy made the rounds. That set off complaints that regular Dems would be excluded from seeing the daughter of President JFK. We wouldn't be surprised now to see a public event or two included on her schedule before she sets down for her Sept. 26-27 visit to ABQ, Santa Fe and Taos.


Is Lady Di ready for the caped crusader? Leave it to Big Bill to say it's too early for him to make an endorsement of anyone--including movie star Val Kilmer--seeking the 2010 Dem Guv nod, even though he offers that he holds Di, his Light Guv, in "high regard." How about that? It seems the relationship between the state's #1 and #2 hasn't warmed much. In fact, you might say it's as cold as an ex-wife's heart.


The best guess on where Obama will be September 18th is Las Vegas, NM in San Miguel County or somewhere in Rio Arriba County. Both are in the heart of the Spanish North, and although the Obama camp is skeptical of that Rasmussen poll showing their man getting just 47% of the Hispanic vote as we begin the final stretch, he can't take anything for granted.

We blogged yesterday about the Big Bill ABQ fundraiser Obama will attend while in NM on the 18th. Insiders point out that Obama decided not to take public financing for his campaign so he and his surrogates continue to devote valuable campaign time to mixing it up with affluent supporters, rather than out where the voters are. It gives McCain a bit of advantage since he has taken the public financing and isn't as pressed to shake the money tree.


Republican Tony Olmi is a longtime reader around here, who takes time to give us his assessment of the NM congressional combat:

New Mexicans have grown accustomed to having their tortillas buttered on both sides. A Democrat and a Republican in the US Senate, and with a mix in the House, seems to have worked well to bring home the bacon...I predict we will continue to have bipartisan representation in the Senate and the House. This also helps to maintain balance and insure our well-being with whatever party controls the White House and Congress. Now we should consider similar principles and thinking for our state House after over 40 years of Democrat control. Hardly seems democratic. Your thoughts?

Like you, Toni, I am most concerned about how NM fares on Capitol Hill with all these newbies. Having some from both party has, as you point out, been a winning recipe for us in the past, but in the end, you gotta go with the best candidate--whether D or R or independent.


The Sarah Palin pick garner this anonymous Democratic reader's attention

Two weeks ago most of us had never heard of her and now she is a rock star. If you wrote the story of her into the plot of a movie, critics would howl that the story line is not believable. No presidential candidate would make a pick like McCain did and no nominee like Palin could possibly give such a stellar performance on only her sixth day on the national stage. She is so confident and commanding in her own way that she scares me to death. Any normal human being would have been a quivering blob of jelly after the scrutiny and media attacks of her first six days..The normal rules of human behavior don't seem to apply to her. McCain made a terrible decision, for the wrong reasons, using a flawed process, yet it may turn out to be what turns the election in his favor. Go figure.


That first TV ad from ABQ GOP congressional hopeful Darren White is being paid for by both the R's national congressional committee and the White campaign. We blogged the national part earlier this week. The bio ad started running today....We were told that GOP US Senate candidate Steve Pearce would use funding cuts for Los Alamos in a media spot, but the insider who told us that said he confused it with Pearce's new spots that continue to hammer nuclear energy, which is what they deal with in Los Alamos..

The major parties are girding for all-out action over the next seven weeks. One of the names you will be seeing and hearing leading the charge for the NM GOP is new spokeswoman Shira Rawlinson. We asked her to introduce herself to La Politica:

I grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from University of California, Davis with a degree in American Studies..Before moving to Albuquerque in August, I worked at the California Republican Party in the communications department and interned in the British Parliament for a Conservative MP.

She says In her free time, she enjoys traveling, channeling her inner Ina Garten, watching episodes of the West Wing and spending time with her boyfriend and their dog Bruno.

Shira might want to tell Bruno and the boyfriend to chill. There's some late hours ahead.


NM syndicated columnist Ned Cantwell is back again, sticking the needle in us and some of our Alligators. Not that we and they don't have it coming....We need a better start than this to informing New Mexican voters...

Back Monday. Thanks for the company.

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