Swing Vote: New Mexico. Candy Corn, Charm and Enchiladas

Yes. That's the hand that set a world record.

Well, well, well. Fancy meeting you here!


I was having a hard time with writing about New Mexico tonight, totally sidetracked by reading about former Governor Bill Richardson on Wikipedia. But I shook myself free and have now consumed at least 12 candy corns (found on sale earlier this week for 35¢ a bag) and my blood sugar has peaked, I’m feeling giddy and considering feeding the puddle some candy corn just to see if she’ll actually catch her tail and howl like a flute if she’s all hyped up on sugar.


Wow. What a life we lead.


I’d like to send a sugar, corn syrup, confectioner’s glaze, salt and honey welcome to our visitor from Aztec, New Mexico! It is because of you this Swing Vote is a success! Thank you!


(Now, leave a comment about what you love in New Mexico and I might be tempted to share my candy corn with you… incentive, huh?!)


(And those of you with peeps you know in the Land of Enchantment, send them over! We need first-hand experiences here!)


So, let me start the New Mexico fact-finding mission with a little game of two truths and a lie.


1. I met Governor Bill Richardson while attending a soirée when I lived and worked in Santa Fe.

2. I am allergic to avocados, which are not grown in New Mexico because they can’t survive the harsh winters.

3. I’m fairly certain 63.7% of New Mexico residents are not confident the state has actually been admitted into the Union.


(Before I go further I need to emit a written howl of outrage because my husband is starting to steal my candy corn. Ayyee-iiii-arghhhh! When I complained and threatened amputation he had the nerve to tell me he can eat them since he’s the one who bought them.)


(It’s obvious our love is worth about 35¢. This is a tragedy.)


So, back to Bill Richardson and Wikipedia. I was desperately searching for the transcript of an interview he gave while campaigning for the 2008 presidency. I didn’t find it. So here’s how I remember the conversation going:


Interviewer: Gov. Richardson, do you really think it’s appropriate for you to be campaigning to lead our nation when you’re the governor of a state that ranks 48th in the nation in education, poverty, and drug use?

Richardson: Of course I do, and this is why: when I was elected we were ranked 50th!

I couldn’t find the transcript to this but I laughed so hard at the time because, man, oh, man that Richardson is a New Mexico, charming legend. A friend who knew him well once told me, “He can feed you a load of bull, and you know it’s bull, but you like eating it because he’s just so charming!”


This is the man who has a Guinness Book of World Records record for the largest number of hands shaken in an eight-hour period during an election. He stole the honor from Truman.


Wikipedia confirmed his panache. Look at this story:

“Richardson’s original biographies stated he had been drafted by the Kansas City Athletics and the Chicago Cubs to play professional baseball, but a 2005 Albuquerque Journal investigation revealed that he never was on any official draft. Richardson acknowledged the error which he claimed was unintentional, saying that he had been scouted by several teams and told that he “would or could” be drafted, but was mistaken in saying that he was actually drafted.[14]

In 1967, he pitched in the amateur Cape Cod Baseball League for the Cotuit Kettleers in Cotuit, Massachusetts. A Kettleers program included the words “Drafted by K.C.” The information which, according to the investigation, was generally provided by the players or their college coaches. Richardson said:

“When I saw that program in 1967, I was convinced I was drafted…And it stayed with me all these years.[15]


Don’t you just love the optimism?! Totally misguided, but definitely fun.


I’m going to move away from emoting about Richardson now. (I don’t usually spend lots of time writing about men unless they are named Lute, from North Dakota, and spent their career coaching the University of Arizona men’s basketball program.)


Besides having elected a charming, if unethical governor, New Mexico no longer allows cockfighting.


After taking a strong stance against a sport that allows foul-tempered fowl to peck each other to death, only Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands are the only parts of the United States where cockfighting is legal.


(Someone tell me I’m not the only on who didn’t know the Northern Marian Islands were a part of the United States. I had to google this location. It may be next month’s Swing Vote.)


Haven’t made travel plans for next year? I have an idea. Every October Las Cruces, NM sponsors the World’s Largest Enchilada Festival. Nothin’ says lovin’ like takin’ your sumpin’ sumpin’ to an enchilada festival to spice things up.


You might have difficulty finding anyone to speak with when you’re there, however. New Mexico has only 12 people per a square mile. The humans are vastly outnumbered by sheep and cattle.


So unless you happen to hit upon the cast of Babe it may be hard to carry on a conversation with the bovine inhabitants of the state.


And last time I checked, hooves weren’t able to navigate a laptop touchpad too well. Maybe that’s why I’ve only had one visitor from New Mexico so far.


Maybe I should be bribing readers with alfalfa instead of candy corn..


Or maybe YOU should be spreading the word about New Mexico and the Swing Vote to all your hot-air balloon happy friends (because New Mexico sponsors the largest hot-air balloon festival in the world)!


Do you have any favorite facts about New Mexico? Please share! And don’t forget to cast your vote for the two truths and a lie game in the comments!

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One thought on “Swing Vote: New Mexico. Candy Corn, Charm and Enchiladas

  • December 11, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    My vote is that you didn’t meet Richards!


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