Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Full Court Press

The Guv met the press on Sunday and, by most accounts, caught a few on the chin for his troubles. Michael Buffer, take it away:

In this corner, the challenger wearing the red trunks with yellow trim, hailing from Santa Fe and weighing in at two bills and some change..."Wild" Bill Richardson!

And in the other corner, the reigning
Meet the Press champion wearing the Men's Warehouse special, a southpaw hailing from Washington DC and weighing in at 190 pounds (not counting the 15 added by the camera and/or Green Room buffet)..."Tenacious" Tim Russert!

Let's get ready to ruuummmmmbbbbblllllllllee!!!

Okay. It probably wasn't that dramatic. But judging from video clips and the interview transcript, Russert certainly didn't pull any punches. In fact, you could say Russ had Big Bill on the ropes soon after "Governor Richardson, welcome back to Meet the Press."

Russert pressured Richardson on his Iraq stance, immigration, his name-checking of deceased US Marine Aaron Austin, New Mexico's persistently high poverty rates, his tenure as Energy Secretary, his energy proposals, gun control, being "drafted" by the As, even whether he roots for the Red Sox or the Yankees. In short, everything short of Richardson's opinion on walking while chewing gum (he initially supported the idea but, in reflection, changed his mind upon the realization that such multi-tasking could have serious public health consequences).

Russert probably scored a unanimous decision. But while the governor was reeling on an occasion or two, he was still standing when the final bell rang. And there's nothing wrong with a little bare-knuckled political pugilism every now and then (few around these parts are bold enough to even step into the ring with Richardson). It thickens the blood. Builds moxy. Plus, chicks dig scars.

The BR4P camp can take some solace in the showdown. Getting grilled with tough questions for an hour on national television legitimizes, in a sense, your candidacy. For instance, Russert and other reporters aren't going to bother thoroughly raking Mike Gravel over the coals. The inclination is more towards getting the former Alaska senator a warm cup of milk and directions back to the Anchorage nursing home he wandered away from about three months ago.

Besides, if it was an actual boxing match (instead of a tortured analogy), chances are good the governor would mop up. My prediction: Richardson by TKO in the fifth.

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