Obama taking softball questions

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE — The White House press corps, which covers every move of President Barack Obama, owes a big thank you to an Albuquerque pop music station.
Last Friday morning, the president accepted an invitation for an on-air chat with KOB-FM’s “Morning Mayhem” co-hosts Carlos Duran, Kiki Garcia and Danny Vigil.
Presidents do that sort of thing from time to time, but the White House press corps has been feeling ignored recently because the escalating battle between presidential candidates has produced an atmosphere in which neither candidate had been inclined to take questions from the press corps.
Just look at the battle of gaffes and their exploitation by the opposing camp to see why Obama and Mitt Romney prefer to confine themselves to prepared remarks.
But last weekend, President Obama’s team made a quick pivot. Last Monday morning, Obama submitted to a grilling by reporters. Former Gov. Romney was in Hobbs Wednesday. We’ll see if New Mexico’s enchantment caused him to sit and talk with press corps reporters.
According to news coverage of Obama’s conversation with reporters, little new information was imparted. Readers may have learned more from the light-hearted conversation with the KOB radio crew.
For the record, Obama revealed in his interview that he prefers red chile but hasn’t eaten enough New Mexican food to pick a favorite. His favorite workout song is “Crazy in Love,” by Beyonce. And his favorite superpower would be to speak any language.
The president also was asked what superhero he would want to be and what he thought of the latest Carly Rae Jepson song. He didn’t know about a superhero but did know of Carly Rae Jepson.
That’s better than what I would have done. I do have a superhero however. It is fictional New Mexico Gov. Arcadia Alvarado, patterned after Gov. Susana Martinez. Alvarado is a Hispanic female governor of New Mexico and running for president.
Her trouble is that she has to fight off some pesky New Mexico aliens while trying to remain the favorite among presidential candidates. You can find it in comic shops or by googling Saucer Country.
Creator Paul Cornell loves New Mexico, inside politics and the UFO myth. He has fallen for the richness of the UFO legend in New Mexico.
As long as I am revealing myself, my favorite superpower would be 20-20 vision, my favorite New Mexican food is a chorizo burrito Christmas. And my favorite workout entertainment is channel surfing among CNN, Fox and MSNBC.

State closes its office in Washington

While we’re talking about Washington and politics, New Mexico recently closed its D.C. office. Former Gov. Bill Richardson opened the office early in his term.
Early in her term, Gov. Martinez transferred Brian Moore, her deputy chief of staff, to the Washington office. Moore resigned earlier this summer and Martinez closed the office.
The value of a D.C. office has long been debated. After all, New Mexico does have a five member congressional delegation in Congress. They are supposed to represent New Mexico.
But sometimes they don’t represent New Mexico the way our governor might like. Richardson had so many initiatives in Washington that he needed a staff to keep track of them.
Martinez’s plan for the office is very different but also makes sense: Send someone back for a year or so, let that person get a firm grasp of who he/she needs to work with and how, once all the channels and understandings are worked out, close the office and bring the staff back.
In this case, the governor did not stick with the same person but if everything is set up to work in each department of government, the person brought back from D.C. no longer may be needed.