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Monday, November 29, 2010

Susana Martinez Spending More Time With National Republicans Than New Mexicans?

SMartinezCr New Mexicans are hurting. Employment is still inching up as we head into the holiday season. There's an increasingly heated debate going on about how to deal with the $450 million hole in the budget. There's action going on within a number of interim committees regarding critical matters like reforming the state's investment infrastructure and making government more efficient. Meanwhile, it seems that Republican governor-elect Susana Martinez is spending more time plotting political strategies with Republicans on the national scene than in analyzing New Mexico's problems and listening to all sides in an attempt to forge solutions at home.

Early on Martinez, who will take office on January 1, 2011, spent more than a week hobnobbing with fellow governors present and future at the Republican Governors Association convention in San Diego, as well as speaking to the national media. Clearly, the GOP has plans to utilize Martinez in a role similar to that played by RNC Chair Michael Steele (before he became an embarrassment) and Sarah Palin -- to show that, despite policy positions to the contrary, they are supportive of minorities like Hispanics, African-Americans and women. Tokenism at its finest.

Now Martinez is reportedly going to D.C. for a Wednesday "summit meeting" along with more than a dozen other GOP governors-elect at the invitation of incoming U.S. House Speaker John Boehner. The meeting with GOP House and Senate leaders will take place the day before President Obama's bipartisan meeting with the nation's new governors, most of them Republicans, announced by the White House earlier this month.

I can only imagine how successful that will be in getting Republicans on board to pass fixes for some of the nation's many pressing problems during the lame-duck session -- instead of voting no on everything to deny the President and Democrats any claim to a victory. Soon after the mid-term elections, President Obama invited GOP House and Senate leaders to a meeting at the White House to talk about legislation but they didn't show up, claiming they were too busy.

The GOP Congressional leadership has served almost exclusively as an obstruction to meeting the nation's challenges, voting to stop even any debate on vital legislation like the unemployment insurance extension. They have been dedicated to operating on purely political grounds, and to hell with the needs of the people. I guess Martinez feels A-OK being a part of the national politics-on-steroids approach to governing, and likely will be counseled on how to do similar things here in New Mexico.

For now, Martinez seems content to leave Richard May -- a long-time Washington insider who worked for decades for high-powered Beltway lobbying firms and Congressional Republicans -- in charge of her administration's budget analysis and proposals -- while she plays the political version of Dancing With The Stars. Folks are increasingly wondering how interested Susana really is in New Mexico's problems, given her recent laser-beam focus on getting her name out there on the national scene. Right-wing politicos and moneyed interested are almost always very good at getting what they pay for.

November 29, 2010 at 06:59 PM in 2010 NM Governor's Race, Economy, Populism, NM Legislature 2011, Obama Administration, Susana Martinez | Permalink


She clearly must get the message that as a rethuglican woman all she needs is a year or so in the Gov. mansion to run for veep. Sooooooooo Sarah Palinesque.

Posted by: Cara Valente-Compton | Nov 29, 2010 7:26:23 PM

A Sarah Palin to call our own, just what NM needs.

All of this bodes well for the legislative session. Not.

I hope the voters who elected her are happy.

Posted by: bg | Nov 30, 2010 6:46:16 PM