Sunday, November 05, 2006

Road Runner’s Confusion

What's wrong with this picture?

It’s a Road Runner.

According to Desert USA the Road Runner’s scientific name is Geococcyx californianus and is a ground cuckoo. The Road Runner is New Mexico’s state bird.

I came upon this one at the intersection of Montano and Interstate Highway 25 West Frontage Road yesterday. It seemed poised to try to cross the road from west to east, but traffic was particularly heavy. He showed respect for the traffic but apparently no fear.

This is my neighborhood Road Runner. He comes by every once in a while to visit. He sits and watches, then moves on. Yet, he will start one way, stop, look, then go the other way. He may dart back and forth several times.

I have not blogged lately and thought I’d touch base. I’ve been very busy covering the campaign for New Mexico Politics with Joe Monahan at

I have lots of stories from the campaign trail that I want to share, but I am trying to maintain that journalistic detachment; to be neutral, responsible, maintain fairness and a balanced aspect to my reporting. I have decided not to endorse anyone. Mostly, because I haven’t made up my own mind yet. I usually am still scratching my head when I enter the polling booth.

I may over analyze each candidate in every race. I listen to and read everything I can about each candidate, though I mute the repetitive negative ads on television.

I was thinking the other day about the wisdom of running a negative advertising campaign. I’ve been on both sides and my tentative conclusion is that the one time I participated in a negative ad, I don’t think it did anything positive for the candidate.

The piece of work I contributed was honest and the wording around it was factual. The tone was slanted, but if it weren’t where would the politics be? I can’t promise that I won’t participate in another negative ad campaign; I just don’t think, at this point, that I will.

Just looking at the number of negative ads that filled my mailbox in the past month or so, I thought maybe if the candidate showed me their opponent’s picture so much, the actual way to decide which person to vote for was the one that got their picture published the most. Then it occurred to me that because I am so well known for simply photographing candidates as they appear, not always in the best light, that might not be fair. My portraits are brutally honest, often times worse than what gets published in the attack ads. So, maybe that’s not the best measure either.

I have come to know many of the political players running this time.I also know many players on the political scene who are not running. I even talk with candidates who greet me, otherwise I usually stand silent and photograph.

So, what's wrong with this picture?

The state bird represents our political culture well; a little cuckoo, unsure of crossing the road with all the traffic, he'll go back and forth, yet unafraid of standing by until the right moment. The right moment will come for all of us, by Tuesday, when we have the ballot in hand. We will have successfully crossed the road when the electronic scanner indicates that it has read our ballot.

After the dust settles, I’ll be back with my analysis of the campaigns. I won’t promise a pretty picture.

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