A version of this story appeared in the Santa Fe Reporter.
By Dave Maass
This month, Republican Mike Huckabee pushed into the near-lead slot in Iowa thanks to a roundhouse endorsement from Chuck Norris.
Like Huckabee, Bill Richardson is also an ambitious candidate with gubernatorial experience. Yet, none of his celebrity endorsements—not even Martin “I played a President on TV” Sheen—have budged him from his second-tier status. But maybe Richardson can finally score an “Early Four” state now that Carlos Alazraqui, the voice of the Taco Bell Chihuahua, is stumping and stand-upping for him in Nevada.
SFR asked Alazraqui, who also plays Deputy James Garcia on the Comedy Central show Reno 911!, how he’s helping the cause:
SFR: How does a Richardson campaign joke go?
CA: I don’t do jokes about his campaign. I talk about what we have in office, about how it’s hard for me to trust a president who I believe has to study from cue cards every morning. [Bush impression]. Workin’ hard. Doin’ a good job. Makin’ progress. Stay the course.
You’re also the voice of the Taco Bell Chihuahua. That’s an iconic role.
It was at the forefront for three years, from ’97 to 2000. People still remember it nostalgically. It’s very bizarre to be part of the American zeitgeist both as a talking Chihuahua and a racist sheriff.
Do you feel being a celebrity has an impact?
Maybe I’m not as big as Oprah. I mean, I’m a basic cable comedy actor, but, you know, why not? They feel like they know us, so maybe in that sense we have the power at least to get them to go and vote for any of the candidates on either side.
Would you like to see Bill as vice president if he doesn’t win the primary?
Whatever position of the Cabinetry he can get would be fantastic. He brings a lot of experience. Maybe he’s saying that [he wouldn’t accept the post] at this point in time because he’s still in the race. To say that would sort of admit defeat. I think he will accept some sort of position if he’s not elected via the primaries.
Could you endorse Bill with the Chihuahua voice?