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Gov. Martinez makes most influential list

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By Jay Miller

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has been named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. That’s a big deal as far as I’m concerned.
But it hasn’t seemed to mean much to others in the news business. Other than short reports saying it happened, the only opinion I have noticed was in Joe Monahan’s blog last Friday. Obviously I don’t get around to reading all blogs but I expected to see much more by four days after our governor’s honor.
Most of you won’t be reading this for another four days so maybe the news business will have noticed by then. Obviously Time magazine isn’t the last word on who is important in this world but I saw part of an interview with the editor who put the list together.
He said the staff working on the project tried to spread the recognition among as many new people as possible each year. Obviously, the president of the United States is going to be included every year, but not most of the rest of the Top 100.
Others chosen in the “Leaders” category were Joe Biden, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the only other governor chosen this year. The influential Christie has been picked before.
Others in the “Leaders” category were Pope Francis, Xi Jinping of China and Kim Song Un of North Korea. The list wasn’t intended to be all good guys. It is people who influence the world.
In the “Entrepreneurs” category Elon Musk added to his Silicon Valley influence by successfully sending two rockets to the International Space Station. He didn’t launch them from New Mexico’s Spaceport America, by the way.
Categories such as entertainment and sports change yearly. Time has been compiling its list of 100 for 10 years.
Gov. Martinez likely won’t make the list next year. Although the brief tribute to her done by Karl Rove didn’t mention it, our governor surely was not chosen for what she has done since assuming office in 2011, but for her feat of winning office despite being Hispanic, female and a Republican in a Democratic state. Her feat can influence others to realize they can do the same.
From what I can dig out, Martinez is the first New Mexican to be selected for the list in its 10-year existence. Former Gov. Bill Richardson was selected to a list of the top 25 Hispanics in the nation.
We heard a lot about that. Had he been selected to the most influential in the world list, he would have flooded the place with news releases. So far, I haven’t seen anything from Gov. Martinez’s office. She should do it.
Others in the leader category were Malala Yousafzai, the 15 year-old activist who survived a Taliban attack, and California Attorney General Kamala Harris, whom President Barack Obama boorishly called the prettiest attorney general in the nation. And then there was Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association.
Karl Rove, in his tribute to Gov. Martinez said maybe this award will help her be reelected next year. Yes, it will help. She is already at over 60 percent popularity among New Mexico likely voters. This will only add to that figure.
The road won’t be entirely smooth, however. Democrats will contend that Martinez doesn’t deserve the recognition because her accomplishments are meager. But voters like her anyway. They like who she is and don’t worry much about what she hasn’t done, or that she hasn’t been as bold as she promised.
Former Gov. Bill Richardson seemed to have been too bold for voters and he did too much. Voters seemed to worry that Lt. Gov. Diane Denish would follow in Richardson’s footsteps although she said she wouldn’t.
New Mexicans may be enjoying sitting back, relaxing and saving some money rather than experiencing constant action during the previous administration.