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Just Not Smart Enough

Joe Monahan, New Mexico’s Democratic political blogger, posts this gem today:

You would think that a challenger to an incumbent U.S. House member would be itching for as many debates as possible. But think again when it comes to the Heather Wilson-Patricia Madrid duel. The Madrid camp is already lowering expectations for any televised confrontations, pointing out that the GOP’s Wilson, seeking her fifth two year term, is a Rhodes Scholar and polished Air Force veteran who is quick on her feet and deeply schooled in the issues of the day.

Am I reading this correctly? Is Patricia Madrid’s own campaign worried she is not smart enough to be placed in a debate setting with Congresswoman Heather Wilson? Isn’t debating the issues on behalf of one’s constituents one of the key skills needed to fulfill the job?

Maybe I’m reading this all wrong. Maybe the problem is that Patricia Madrid’s campaign staff is worried that she is going to be called to the carpet on her lack of interest in indicting corrupt politicians during her tenure as attorney general. Or maybe she is worried that truth will come out regarding her relationship with big oil and gas.

What relationship you ask?

Well, in 2004, despite the fact that she was not up for re-election, Patricia Madrid pocketed $27,500 from oil and gas heavyweights Valero Energy and Conoco Philips. Now some might argue that is chump change; however, that amount constituted 88% of all contributions received that year.

Personally, I don’t think there is any problem with a candidate receiving support from a particular business cluster. Then again, I’m not a candidate for Congress who is decrying the influence of the oil and gas industry on the one hand and pocketing their money with the other hand.