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A governor still on the campaign trail

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By Hal Rhodes

It borders on cruel and unusual punishment, the way we require newly elected governors to stand before the Legislature and hold forth on “The State of The State” barely two weeks after taking office.  
Think about it: They get themselves elected on the first Tuesday in November, whereupon they have a couple of months to catch their breath after a grueling campaign, collect their wits and begin the process of assembling the rudiments of an administration before raising their right hand and taking the oath of office on Jan. 1.
Those necessities out of the way, they are then compelled to whip out a speech on the affairs of a state of which they have only recently become the top elected official.
Worse, once they have fashioned something approximating a speech, they must go before a large gathering of state lawmakers and other notables, many of whom are veterans at governing, far better versed in their state’s affairs than the new governor standing behind a podium trying to impress with his or her words, wisdom and wit.
Such was the assignment that fell to New Mexico’s 27th governor, Republican Susana Martinez, when the 2011 Legislature’s 60-day session convened in Santa Fe last Tuesday.


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