Wednesday, June 13, 2007


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
June 14, 2007

My column about choosing an official theme song for the Richardson campaign got a big response from readers.

I wrote that because Hillary Clinton is sponsoring a theme-song contest on her campaign Web site. So far Richardson hasn’t followed suit.

I’m still partial to Jean Knight’s early ’70s soul hit “Mr. Big Stuff.” But many of you had other suggestions.

Emmett O’Connell of the America for Richardson blog suggested the Los Lobos classic “Will the Wolf Survive.” But of course he would. That was the original name of O’Connell’s Richardson blog long before the governor said he’d run. A reader named Mark also nominated that song. “With Richardson playing up his Hispanic background and his ‘lone wolf’ stance, and the odds of him surviving the first few primaries looking slim, this tune is a great choice for him.”

A Richardson fan named Sherry jokingly offered The Fifth Dimension’s song “Wedding Bell Blues,” which repeats the line “Won’t you marry me, Bill?” — but withdrew the nomination noting Richardson already is married. Instead, she suggested the song “From a Distance,” recorded by Bette Midler, Nanci Griffith and others. I assume she chose this song not because the title refers to how Richardson is governing New Mexico during this period of heavy traveling, but because of the idealistic lyrics: “From a distance we all have enough/And no one is in need/There are no guns, no bombs, no diseases/No hungry mouths to feed.”

Karen from Santa Fe suggested the song “Bill” from the musical Showboat, which she said would compliment his “I’m not a rock star” statements. I used to dream that I would discover/The perfect lover someday./I knew I’d recognize him if ever/He came ’round my way./I always used to fancy then/He’d be one of the god-like kind of men,/With a giant brain and a noble head,/Like the heroes bold/In the books I’ve read./But along came Bill, who’s not the type at all. … He’s just my Bill, an ordinary guy.”

Paige recommended “I’m an Old Cowhand” (from the Rio Grande), with slightly adjusted lyrics: “I rode in from the Enchantment State/And I sure do know how to legislate/Yippee yi o ki yay.”
An Ohio reader named Margot nominated the Cream song “Politician,” with the lines, “Come on baby, get into my big black car/And I’ll show you what my politics are.” Walt suggested “One for My Baby and One More For the Road,” though this might conflict with Richardson’s anti-drunken-driving stance.

Miriam nominated “Love & Hope” by Ozomatli, a Latino band from Los Angeles (that is appearing in Santa Fe in August). Sample lyrics: “The hope deep in his eyes are dreams he must let fly!”

Sean suggested several songs including Van Morrison’s “Back on Top” and “The Ballad of Billy the Kid” by Billy Joel. But that song is so full of historical inaccuracies (“Well, he started with a bank in Colorado. … Well, he robbed his way from Utah to Oklahoma …”) Richardson would have to appoint another task force to look into it, and Jay Miller would have to write another book debunking it.

Susan from Taos said she likes “On the Sunny Side of the Street” (Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson), saying she “can readily envision Gov. Richardson entering a room-full of people, NOT tap-dancing (as I would), but smiling, with his endearing dimples and easy mien.”

Justin submitted a country song by Alabama called “I’m in a Hurry (and I Don’t Know Why)” because of the repeated line, “I’m in a hurry to get things done,” which he said, “conveys the gov’s biggest assets, his experience of getting things done.” However Richardson probably would want to delete the verse that begins, “Don’t know why I have to drive so fast/My car has nothing to prove.”

Speaking of which, another reader named Sean wickedly suggested Sammy Hagar’s “I Can’t Drive 55.” Apparently not a Richardson supporter, he also suggested others such as Bob Wills’ “Roly Poly” and the folk tune “Bully of the Town.”

Even harsher was Jay, who suggested "I'm an Asshole" by comedian Denis Leary, which has references to fast driving and Cuban cigars.

Selling Cabinet posts: She’s not governor yet, at least not officially, but Diane Denish is selling — that’s correct, selling — memberships in her Cabinet.

A recent mailer for the lieutenant governor says you can become a “founding member” of her Cabinet for just $1,000 a year.

But no, a thousand bucks doesn’t guarantee you a high government position, said Steve Fitzer of the 2010 Denish campaign. “It’s just a cutesy name we came up,” he said. “There’s the Richardson Roundtable and the Bingaman Circle.”

Membership in the Denish Cabinet get first notice of “key Denish events.” Members pay only base-cost for Denish fundraisers, so a $500 dinner might only be $50. There will be two members-only meetings a year.

The first Denish Cabinet event is a barbecue in Albuquerque tonight. There’s no charge for those under 18. I guess that makes them members of the Children’s Cabinet.

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