Time magazine giveth, and Time magazine taketh away. Mere months after naming Gov. Bill Richardson as one of America's most influential Hispanics (see Tumbleweeds, October), the magazine overlooked our governor in its list of "America's 5 Best Governors." Most painfully, Time led its hosannas with outgoing Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, who's been mentioned along with Richardson as 2008 Democratic presidential timber. Warner's stock rose, too, after he helped carry his hand-picked successor to victory in last month's off-year elections.
Other notable governors not from New Mexico: Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (another Southwestern Democrat—ouch), Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn (a Republican, but c'mon—were they trying to surround New Mexico?), Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (a GOP 2008 mentionee) and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sevelius (another Democrat). At least Richardson didn't make the accompanying "worst" list (Ohio's Bob Taft, Louisiana's Kathleen Babineaux Breaux, South Carolina's Mark Sanford).
When last we checked, by the way, Richardson's newly published memoir, Between Worlds: The Making of an American Life, was ranked a respectable but not blockbuster number 4,956 on Amazon.com. Publishers Weekly's review of the book gets right to the point: "A charismatic politician with a standout resume, in 2008 Governor Richardson may become the first Hispanic-American on a presidential ticket—at least if he has anything to say about it. In this campaign pamphlet, er, autobiography, Richardson lays out the highlights of his professional career. . . ." Nor is Booklist naive in its writeup: "Some might view his fast-paced autobiography as the opening round in a political campaign." Amazon reader-reviewer Michael Werner, a.k.a. "MindTrekker," gives Between Worlds four stars out of five and then gets right to the point: "Take an early look at your next president." From your keyboard to God's ears, MindTrekker, somebody's saying in Santa Fe.
New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici appeared on Don Imus' TV show last month, and the host tried to wrangle a compliment about the Democratic governor from the GOP senator:
Imus: "I love him (Richardson)."
Domenici: "He's a great promoter, isn't he?"
Imus: "Well, what are you saying?"
Domenici: "You know, he's a great politician, and no question about it."
Imus: "He's been great for the state of New Mexico, don't you think?"
Domenici: "Doing good. He is a master at making news, there's no question. I mean, if he were a salesman, he'd be rich."
Imus: "I'm trying to pry a compliment for him out of you, but it's just not happening."
Domenici: ". . . I said he's doing good. Doing well. Doing super. Whatever you'd like to say. You've got a picture of old Richardson on the tube, huh?"
Imus: "Pardon me?"
Domenici: "You've got a picture of Bill Richardson on the television there."
Imus: "Yes, we do."
Domenici: "Boy, he's good looking."
Imus: "Yes, he is."
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