Thursday, May 13, 2004

ROUNDHOUSE ROUND-UP: READING THE FUTURE

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican

All politicians want us to think they're looking ahead to the future. But an answer to a recent questionnaire The New Mexican sent to legislative candidates appeared to imply that a certain state senator was not only forward looking but also had psychic powers.

We asked candidates for the latest book they've read. (I know, some might think these kind of personal questions are silly, but I've always thought they can be revealing.) Sen. Roman Maes, seeking the Democratic nomination for a sixth term representing District 25, answered My Life by Bill Clinton.

There's only one problem.

According to Amazon. com, the former president's memoir will not be released until June 30.

Can Maes read into the future?

Or is he so close to Clinton he got an advance manuscript?

Sorry. Just a misunderstanding Maes said Wednesday.

"I thought you meant 'what book do I want to read,' " Maes said.

"You wouldn't believe how many of these questionnaires we're asked to fill out," he said. "I must have received 25 of them this year."

For the record, the actual last book Maes says he read was by another Clinton -- Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

You can see what all the other legislative candidates are reading, thinking and saying in the New Mexican's candidate profiles, beginning next week.

Veepwatch: Gov. Bill Richardson, who insists he does not want to be John Kerry's running mate, might well get that wish, according to an article in Wednesday's Bloomberg.com.

The financial wire quotes unnamed "campaign and party officials familiar with the selection process" that the short list has come down to five names: Sens. John Edwards and Bob Graham, Rep. Richard Gephardt, retired Gen. Wesley Clark and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack.

Of these, Vilsack is the only one who wasn't a candidate for president earlier in the election season.

U.S. News & World Report's "Washington Whispers" also recently ran an item concerning Richardson's chances for the vice-presidential slot. The column said Clark had endorsed Richardson for the position.

"But party insiders say it's a tactical move," the column said. "Clark doesn't think Richardson's truly in the running, they explain. He's being nice in hopes of getting the New Mexico guv's support."

Generally speaking: A local Republican just got appointed to a national committee of the George W. Bush re-election team. Retired Lt. Gen. Gordon Sumner of Santa Fe was appointed to the Bush-Cheney '04 Veterans Leadership Team, headed by former Sen. Bob Dole. Sumner traveled to Tampa this week for the announcement.

Sumner, 79, retired from active duty in 1978, is a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. In Korea, he was captured by the Chinese, but managed to escape after three days.

"The first 24 hours are the worst," Sumner said Wednesday.

In 1975, Sumner chaired the Inter-American Defense Board. In Santa Fe he chairs the board of Sumner & Associates, a high-tech company.

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