Richardson difficult to predict in 2009

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE — It is fun at this time of year to make predictions for the coming year in New Mexico politics. Then a year later comes the accountability, the time to tally how well I have done.

This year’s evaluation of my 2009 predictions is not pretty. I usually have quite a bit to crow about. But a year ago today was during that brief period when we thought Gov. Bill Richardson was headed for the big time.

It was only a few days into the new year that Big Bill surprised the world, except for some advisers of president-elect Barack Obama, by announcing that he was staying home.

Even before Richardson withdrew, he had given indications that he would hold on to his reins of power in New Mexico as long as he possibly could.  

The new president was announcing that he wanted all the cabinet secretaries he had appointed to be confirmed by his Jan. 20 inaugural date. Richardson, who had been around that mulberry bush a few times before, knew Obama was still dreaming. Nothing happens that fast in Washington.

Even before his surprise withdrawal, Richardson announced that he would be making the opening address to the Legislature and would be presenting his budget and legislative initiatives.

Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, in the spotlight for the month of December 2008, quickly was back in the shadows.

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