Thursday, May 05, 2016

Martinez Hedges On Trump; Stays On Fence With Endorsement; What's Really Happening Here? Plus: Do Dems Stay Status Quo Because Of The Donald? 

Gov. Martinez is edging toward an endorsement of Donald Trump but still hedging. She is saying she will not vote for Hillary Clinton but wants to know more about where Trump stands on issues impacting New Mexico, including federal funding for the national labs. Funny, for over five years she has ignored the labs and decried the state's dependence on federal spending. In fact, she dismantled the state's lobbying office in DC. Now she wants to know where Trump stands on our federal funding? From her office:

. . . She wants to hear how Mr. Trump plans to address issues that directly affect New Mexicans — like how he plans to protect our labs and military bases and end the dysfunction in Washington that has hurt New Mexico more than any other state in the country. Governor Martinez wants to be sure the needs and concerns of New Mexicans are addressed by the presidential candidates

Martinez will not be the VP candidate with Trump, despite the predictable mentions she's now receiving and has received and that we'll have to endure until the GOP convention in July.

We believe her when she says she is not interested. Indeed. How could she hold up to worldwide scrutiny when she has shown little interest in national issues and has not engaged in any meaningful exchanges with the adversarial national media?

In fact, her most notable national exposure of late has been for the ill-fated holiday staff pizza party she threw at a Santa Fe hotel in December. Part of it was captured on audio tape and appeared to show her drunk and berating a hotel clerk as noise complaints about her party were investigated. That incident, in part, has caused her popularity to drop dramatically in the state--to a 45% approval rating-- according to reliable and recent insider polling conducted for a NM based political action committee that we've been shown and which we blogged about this week.

In other words, our readers are way ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding the true dynamics impacting this governor, her governorship and her real status on the national scene.

Trump says he is most likely to pick as VP someone who can help him get legislation through Congress. That certainly is not Martinez whose legislative cupboard in New Mexico is essentially bare, except for a corporate tax cut and a law on driver's licenses.

Also, Wednesday night on Fox News Trump GOP Convention Manager Paul Manafort was asked directly about Martinez's prospects, with the interviewer wondering if it doesn't have to be a "woman and Latina." Manafort shot that down saying both Trump and he want someone with "Washington experience" and who could help with "foreign policy" and "defense." He said that criteria is more important than gender or race. Obviously, Martinez does not fit that bill. Transcript:

Kelly: Do you believe what people say, that it has to be somebody like Susanna Martinez, a woman, a Latina?

MANAFORT: He said he is looking for somebody who has Washington experience and someone who can help him in dealing with the problems in foreign policy and defense policy. That's more important in my judgment. And that's what he thinks which is even more important.

Trump minions will continue to mention for VP the likes of Martinez, Gov. Nikki Haley and other women and minorities because of Trump's sad status with them. For her part Martinez will drag out her eventual endorsement because of Trump's past bigoted remarks and radical immigration proposals, even as she is used to give him cover.

Martinez could make a real difference by taking the high road and publicly demanding Trump ditch his plans to put a wall across the southern border and to prohibit any Muslim immigration into the USA. But this is politics and these days the high road is the road less traveled.


Martinez is chair of the Republican Governors Association so her rivals at the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) are wasting no time trying to put her under the Trump train:

The DGA launched a webpage reminding voters in New Mexico where Gov. Martinez stands on supporting Donald Trump for president. The webpage, entitled “Trump Tracker: The Silent 9,” names Martinez as an original member of “The Silent 9” sitting GOP governors who have refused to answer if they would support Donald Trump on the ballot in November. Tuesday night, Trump became the presumptive GOP presidential nominee in 2016. But for months, Republican governors have been have been divided over Trump’s candidacy. Martinez has dodged questions on if she supports Trump for more than two months.

And before the Dems start smirking over Trump and their possible good fortune, here is author Tom Frank to throw some reality their way:


And before the Dems start premature victory celebrations over Trump's nomination author Thomas Frank has a point to make:

. . . Trump is a bigot of such pungent vileness that the victory of the Democratic candidate is virtually assured. Absent some terrorist attack...or some FBI action on the Clinton email scandal... or some outrageous act of reasonableness by Trump himself, the blowhard is going to lose.

This, in turn, frees the Democratic leadership to do whatever they want, to cast themselves in any role they choose. They do not need to move to “the center” this time. They do not need to come up with some ingenious way to get Wall Street off the hook. They do not need to beat up on working people’s organizations.

That they seem to want to do all these things anyway tells us everything we need to know about who they really are: a party of the high-achieving professional class that is always looking for a way to dismiss the economic concerns of ordinary people.

Those "ordinary people" here are working class Hispanics who have abandoned state Democrats in droves, making GOP dominance of state government here possible.


New Mexico First, a bipartisan public policy organization is hosting a  town hall on the state's economy. Help create recommendations for New Mexico's leaders. Click here to register.


In reporting our scoop on the first mayoral candidate announcing for the '17 race--Dem Deanna Archuleta-- we had the location of the announcement as being at the Bow and Arrow Brewery in the North Valley. Fans of the new place inform that it is north of Downtown.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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