After seeing the more prominently known Bill that is competing for the White House this year, I am shaken and disturbed. The only man with a better resume than our own Governor Bill, graced the University of New Mexico -- the Flagship University of the state -- and bellowed through the indiscernible PA system (still intact from the days before the Pit when the Lobos played in Johnson) his plan to unite America and win back the white house.
With a few references to the accomplishments of his first two terms, Bill highlighted what he would do better in his third and fourth terms. Left un-addressed, was the absence of the magical touch that brought him into office in 1992 and accomplished his agenda; the glow that dropped people's jaws in the same manner as Tiger Woods and John Lennon was gone. There was no jam-packed hall with people crammed into every last corner. There were no throngs of on-lookers sitting in silent respect for the President that created international bridges over impassable waters. A few hundred, maybe a thousand interested persons were scattered across the gym floor and upper deck. A few waved signs to remind the President of his wife's name. Applause was given out of respect, not jubilation.
At the onset of this election cycle (Dem Convention 2004 when we nominated a guaranteed loser) I began saying "If it came down to it, I could stomach voting for his wife if it brought President Clinton back into the White House." While today reaffirmed my belief that they are – politically-speaking – one person in two bodies, I cannot say that it reaffirmed my devote support of the eventual Democratic nominee. He is not the President that is adored in history books and on the History Channel. He is the President of the 90's - a great leader that provided great deeds, but it is now time to honor his past service by doing what he has always advocated to do; we must continue looking to the future, continue moving forward as we learn from our past failures and work to elevate new leaders to guide our nation away from failed policies and toward a new, better future.
The changes of the future came the next morning. At the Albuquerque Convention Center any and everyone that wasn’t chained to a desk lined up to catch a glimpse of the other remaining candidate in the Democratic Primary. While I had walked straight into Johnson Gym the day before, I arrive an hour early to sneak into line about 3000 deep. In the third or fourth extra ballroom, Senator Obama passed through to keep from disappointing the extra 3000 attendees that didn’t stand a chance of sneaking into the Kiva. Another throng of supporters assembled on Civic Plaza to see him after a long speech followed by many questions.
What I witnessed in two days was incomparable. As meaningless as running on the words of “change” and "hope" can be, it has already produced results. Across the nation people who had lost hope, People who have never previously voted or followed an election have taken action and become involved. Changes have already taken place. Records are set each time another state holds their primary or caucus. The opportunities currently presented to the Democrats are only just being recognized. To quash their new-found interest would be to shoot oneself in the foot to even the race for the competition.
As a pragmatist that compromises to win rather than adhering to ideals in defeat, it is imperative that we work to inform and educate our own communities. Thus, as any provider of news, I will bring you announcements of events of the 2008 election. I will sift, sort and edit for you, not to deceive and distort, but to place the focus on the facts that carry real importance.
As New Mexico is a state that goes to the eventual winner every year except for two in its entire history, a focus will be placed upon the state. In addition to being a key state in the Presidential Race, all three current Congressmen are competing for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Pete Domenici for the first time in 36 years. While two of the congressional races will be all but decided in the June primary, the Albuquerque congressional district and Senate race could easily bring out provisional ballots to decide the winners.
It may not be remembered as an historic election, but you will hear of its historic implications many times in the next year (enough to make your ears bleed on dry days, so don’t make a drinking game based on its repetition). I welcome anyone interested in staying informed and up to date to join me often as we watch the election transpire.