Wednesday, November 28, 2007

There's Something About Bill: Political Canvases

A version of this story appeared in the Santa Fe Reporter.

There's Something About Bill: Political Canvases
NM artists brush up on Bill’s campaign.
By Dave Maass

Question: Can 65 local artists be wrong about Bill?

Answer: Not if they haven’t really made a decision yet.

Bill’s campaign is throwing an art show on Nov. 29 at the Hilton Santa Fe, called—for lack of a better name—“The Great Art Event.” Tickets are $250 for two, and approximately 100 patrons will be guaranteed a random piece of art donated by 65 local artists. The gala will likely be a who’s who of the local art scene, including First Lady Barbara Richardson, who will be on hand to dole out the prizes personally.

Calculated out, the event should raise at least $12,500 for Bill’s campaign. That really isn’t a whole lot, considering that, with the $2,300 maximum contribution limit, he could raise just as much chatting up half a dozen wealthy retirees.

In the end, it looks as if it’s the art patrons who will be coming out on top. At $125 a pop, they’ll be getting a steal depending on whose art they win. For example, photographer Cathy Maier Callanan estimates her three donated works—including a portrait of the late local eccentric and artist Tommy Macione—are worth approximately $1,000 on the open art market.

For the artists, donating work seems to be less an endorsement and more a thank you to the Richardsons, particularly Barbara, for supporting the arts. Michael Namingha, for example, who’s donating a 9-by-11 inkjet print of his word-art, says he hasn’t picked a candidate yet. However, Richardson is a friend of his father’s, Dan Namingha, who also is contributing art to the cause.

Perhaps, pro-Bill artists aren’t unlike other pro-Bill fence sitters: They tend to like Bill, but they’re not willing to commit to him unless he can prove he’s a viable candidate. Considering that Bill’s narrowed the gap between himself and John Edwards in New Hampshire to within a point, that may not be too far off.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Criticism for Bill

The opposing perspective on Richardson's LV debate performance:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Praise for Bill

Here's an interesting take on why Richardson is making a difference in the presidential race even if he isn't leading the pack quite yet. It's a column by Ruben Navarrette Jr. that praises Big Bill for showing a little political courage during the Nov. 15 Las Vegas CNN debate. Combined with fellow Washington Post Writers Group columnist David Broder's (mostly) kind words about Big Bill offering substance over slogans - during the same debate - at least our home state guv is still turning some influential heads.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Stuck in Iowa

The Washington Post and ABC News published a poll of likely Iowa caucus-goers today and the results are nothing short of dismal for our home state guv. Overall Richardson is mired in 4th place in just about every category, and even the spinnable silver linings can easily be spun right back to argue that Richardson is hurting big time with only seven weeks to go.

The poll will probably be best remembered for revealing that Barack Obama has edged past Hillary Clinton in the minds of the voters who will set the tone for the remainder of the Democratic contest. But for La Politica junkies here in NM (as blogger Joe Monahan fondly refers to us)_it just might also mark Richardson’s sinking prospects to be prez.

The Post-ABC News poll pegs Richardson’s support at 11 percent, virtually unchanged since July despite lots of TV ads and plenty of visits to the Hawkeye state. He needs to double his support if he hopes to exceed expectations and scoot past John Edwards.. and give his campaign any semblance of a “win” in Iowa.

Big Bill is locked in 4th place as the voters’ preferred 2nd choice (which is very important given the way the Iowa caucus is organized), and he’s also 4th best as the candidate who… “best understands the problems of people like you,” is “most honest and trustworthy,” has the “best chance of getting elected,” and can handle the economy, health care, social security, Iraq and Iran.

And on most of these questions the guv is a distant 4th.

On the bright side, Richardson scored an impressive sounding 1st place showing among Dems who say that immigration is their most important issue. Sadly for Bill, only 2 percent of likely Iowa caucus-goers say immigration is the most important issue.

According to the poll, Richardson is actually tied for 2nd place (behind Clinton) with 16 percent of Dems saying he has the “best experience” to be president. That also sounds good until you see that despite that glittering resume we’ve all heard so much about, he’s tied with none other than one-term former Sen. Edwards.

Maybe worst of all, only 2 percent of those hyper engaged Iowa Dems say Richardson has campaigned the hardest in Iowa. So contrary to his reputation in these parts, apparently our guy is lazy too.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Another Nom.

Oh my. I'm so surprised. Bill's been nominated again for the Nobel Peace Prize. From AP:

Democratic Rep. Bart Gordon of Tennessee said he has sent a nomination packet to the Nobel Committee in honor of Richardson's diplomatic efforts with countries such as Sudan and North Korea.

"He's well-deserving," said Gordon, who got to know Richardson when they served in Congress together. "It's just a continuation of his willingness to continue to go around the world, whether it's a matter of hostages or other tense situations, and work with all parties."

Before you get all braggy about our governor, read David Alire Garcia's investigation into Bill's previous nominations.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

There's Something About Bill :: Richie Rich

A version of this story appeared in this week's Santa Fe Reporter.

SFR's Tips for Cashing in On Bill
By Dave Maass

n a market economy, it’s said, consumers vote with their dollars. Since 2000, that concept has become a literal political phenomenon at’s “prediction market.” The Dublin-based Web site allows politicos to put their money where their savvy is through a stock-market-style gambling system. users choose from a list of possible political events that will have a definitive yes-no outcome, such as Hillary Clinton winning the 2008 general election. uses the term “contract,” but for all practical purposes, Web site subscribers are trading stock in the outcome.

And like the stock market, demand raises a contract’s value, while liquidation sends it slumping. Contract values are measured in points, each worth 10 cents.

Here are SFR’s tips for banking on Richardson:

Bill to win the Democratic nomination
Bill’s chances of winning are at an ultralow at 0.8 points. He’s in fifth place behind Hillary Clinton (70.5), Barack Obama (14.4), Al Gore (6.7) and John Edwards (5.2). In fact, investors predict there’s a doubly better chance that Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice will join the race and win the Republican nomination. Yet, Bill is playing to win in the early primary states and running a strong ad campaign. Bill’s a long shot, but the cheap contracts could turn a huge profit if Bill makes last minute gains.

Bill to be tapped for the vice presidential nomination

Bill’s still in the top tier of potential vice presidential candidates with a contract rated at 16 points and rising—perhaps in reaction to Bill’s defense of Hillary during the last debate. Bill’s contract is tied with that of US Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., who, as Hillary’s national committee co-chairman, is widely speculated to be her first pick. Barack is currently the best rated at 21.5 points. However, as a byproduct of the widening Hillary-Barack rift, Bill’s contracts could rise slightly in value.

Bill to drop out by Dec. 31, 2007
General speculation that Bill would make a run for the seat of US Sen. Pete Domenici, R-NM, has the governor currently ranked the fourth best bet in both parties for bowing out. But since US Rep. Tom Udall, D-NM, has announced his Senate candidacy, SFR predicts that Bill’s even less likely to make the switch. Instead, SFR recommends investing immediately in “Democrat to win the NM Senate,” currently trading at 44 points.

Bill to win NM Presidential Primary
While this contract isn’t available yet, Intrade
.com spokesman John Delaney says it will soon be offered on the site. SFR’s recommendation: Buy fast, buy in bulk and sell when it tops 90.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What the?

Bill's got a new website. That's in addition to his gubernatorial site, his campaign site, and his Get Our Troops Out site-- Oh wait. now forwards to his new site,

That's really too bad. Get Our Troops Out was a neat site with a positive message about Richardson's plan. The new one is just a pot shot at Obama and Hillary. Howevs, the prediction of cost, casualties and deaths is pretty cool and well cited.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I see London, I see France ...

Blogger Chuck Offenburger of has some, er, interesting commentary on Bill's appearance this Sunday at the Greene County Courthouse in Iowa:

He gave a tremendous 45-minute speech, but the more he started lifting his arms, putting his hands behind his head and sticking his hands in his jeans’ front pockets, well, those of us on the east side of the front few rows couldn’t help but notice that the zipper on the fly of those jeans was creeping downward.

My wife Carla Offenburger, who is very good at spotting flaws in men, if you know what I mean, turned to me and whispered, “I think you should be telling him that he needs to zip up his pants!” I had a two-word answer: “Not me.”

Richardson started taking questions from the audience, became even more animated and soon that zipper had slipped down a good four or five inches. Then we could see white underpants – thank God.

And that's only the beginning ... read the rest here.