Bill Richardson Generating Buzz For 2008

The LA Times and have both run very favorable profiles of New Mexico Governor and potential 2008 contender Bill Richardson recently. In 2004, Richardson also generated quite a bit of buzz for a candidacy that never materialized.  This time, with Richardson running virtually unopposed for re-election in 2006, it's widely assumed that he's really got his eye on the White House in 2008.

Richardson's resume is practically tailor-made for the Presidency. He began his political career by winning a seat in the House in 1982, where he served until President Clinton appointed him to be Ambassador to the United Nations in 1997; a year later, Clinton named him
Secretary of Energy. In 2002, Richardson was elected to his current position. Both parties like to nominate Governors for President, and the traditional criticism of Governors -- they lack foreign policy experience -- is a complete non-issue for Richardson. As a member of the House, Richardson was known as the go-to guy when negotiating with rogue regimes -- North Korea, Sudan, Iraq, Burma -- for the release of American hostages. He's even been deployed by the Bush administration to deal with the North Korean leadership on touchy nuclear issues.

The LA Times profile deals largely with Richardson's demographic appeal. With the Latino vote a growing factor in Presidential elections, the fact that Richardson is a Latino Governor of a Latino state, the appeal is obvious. But this is only one aspect of Richardson's success in retail politics. He holds the Guiness World Record for the most number of handshakes in a day. Salon spoke to James Pindell of about the trips Richardson's already taken to New Hampshire.

What Richardson did in New Hampshire is something he's known for coast to coast: hobnobbing with his inner Rolodex on turbo. From D.C. to Los Angeles, Richardson seems never to be in a crowd of complete strangers. Somehow, from behind the microphones and lecterns, he'll spot a familiar face, dredge up the person's name without a staffer to whisper it to him and go so far as to shout out to the person, who invariably reacts with flattered surprise.

"He just walked around the crowd, and he would just recognize people," Pindell says. "You can't make this stuff up."

Candidates, even nondeclared ones, have three things to accomplish in a New Hampshire trip, Pindell says: Introduce yourself to the nation's early primary voters, leave the crowd with a better opinion of you than when you arrived, and show a little respect for the East Coast traditions of politics and baseball.

"While he appears intelligent, he was more than happy to be in New England and talk about the Red Sox," Pindell says. "People seem to be very impressed with him."

In a lot of ways, Richardson seems like the flip-side version of George W. Bush. Bush was born in Connecticut, but defines himself as a Texan. Richardson was born in California and raised in Mexico and Massachusetts, but defines himself as a New Mexican. Bush is a baseball fan and former co-owner of the Texas Rangers. Richardson is a Red Sox fan who was a good enough pitcher to be drafted by the Kansas City Athletics. Richardson, also like Bush, has cultivated something of a reputation as a towel-snapper, teasing fellow lawmakers and reporters alike. His governing style has been described as "imperious" and he demands almost total loyalty.

"He does wield a pretty heavy stick," said Dan Foley, a Republican lawmaker from Roswell and one of the governor's leading nemeses. "Gov. Richardson wants you to be with him 100% of the time. If you're with him 99% of the time, you're his enemy."

Sound familiar?  But while Bush is considered by many to be a relatively un-serious figure, Richardson's hands-on involvement in policy-making and negotiations with foreign leaders has earned him a reputation as a very serious figure.

Both pieces are definitely worth checking out. And the very fact that such profiles are being written suggest that Richardson's on his way to becoming a major player in the 2008 contest. As Ken Camp has pointed out in his diary here, while his polling numbers are currently on the low side, "Governor Richardson will raise his national profile in the months leading up to Iowa and New Hampshire and become a force to be reckoned with." Ken's absolutely right -- and these two articles show that Richardson's well on his way to raising that national profile.

Tags: General 2008 (all tags)



Maybe as VP, but not for the top of the ticket.
by Paleo 2005-08-14 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Richardson
How come?
by arenwin 2005-08-14 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Richardson
Yeah, how come? He has more going for him than any candidate in either party in my opinion. He does have some cons, but so what. Even if you don't the Republicans will just make shit up.
by zt155 2005-08-14 01:20PM | 0 recs
I agree. maybe as VP
my problem with Richardson is that he is just uncharismatic and uninspiring, but he has the resume of a president. In such a case, VP just seems more fitting.
by schwompa 2005-08-14 02:02PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree. maybe as VP
He is mild-mannered and soft-spoken. If he had some of that latin salsa going we'd be looking at a serious contender.
by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-08-14 03:02PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree. maybe as VP
As opposed to Hillary Clinton who has the appeal of paint drying on the wall?
by bruh21 2005-08-14 05:01PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree. maybe as VP
I'd rather watch paint dry. It doesn't triangulate and try to change it's color.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-08-14 06:10PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree. maybe as VP
That's the sad part. It's like they aren't offering message or charisma so we are left with the Republicans. No one here gets that. I talk to a lot of my moderate conservative friends- and this is the the picture that they have of us. We can blame it on the media, but it's also because there is truth in the perception. The Republicans can afford to burn both sides against the middle because they are now in charge- but I am not certain if we have the luxury of doing this.
by bruh21 2005-08-14 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree. maybe as VP
I can't help but wonder why people only think of him as a VP.  He's awesome on teh enviorment, he's help negotiate the release of hostages out of N.Korea and the Middle East.  he's a western governor, he's hispanic, he's great on imigration, I can go on and on.  The man's got game and is the better candiate out there.
by elpoliticomayor 2005-08-14 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree. maybe as VP
My personal opinion is because other people have dogs in the race. A lot of people here aren't as forth right about that so they will say stuff like "well I don't see it" The truth is that he is as viable a centrist as any who isn't very charismatic. I don't frankly see the difference between him and Hillary Clinton except that he maybe more electable w/ Latinos
by bruh21 2005-08-14 07:55PM | 0 recs
A Very In the Know Friend
...told me at the Boston DNC convention that Richardson wasn't considered for Kerry's VP spot because he has a bit of a zipper problem.  I have no idea how true that is, but that's what I heard
by Mano a Mano 2005-08-14 02:10PM | 0 recs
Re: A Very In the Know Friend
A friend in the know told me you were a troll.
by Kombiz Lavasany 2005-08-14 02:34PM | 0 recs
whatever man...

you'll learn soon enough
by Mano a Mano 2005-08-14 03:47PM | 0 recs
Re: whatever man...
Good enough for the Ahnold...
by ROGNM 2005-08-14 03:59PM | 0 recs
Re: whatever man...
Richardson is not Arnold. Arnod won because he is in California, and he's a movie star. He also won because he faced an exceptionally weak opponent.
by bruh21 2005-08-14 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: A Very In the Know Friend
I've heard the same thing, that Gore and Kerry both passed him over for that reason...
by lorax 2005-08-14 05:11PM | 0 recs
Geez...flip-side of Bush?
That's not a ringing endorsement. Bush did not grow up until 40 years old, unlike Richardson. Bush earned nothing in his life; everything was given to him on a silver spoon.

While I don't have a problem with Richardson, he may be latino but his name sure doesn't sound like it, and this may water down his hispanic appeal as petty as that sounds. It's important for reaching most people who still don't know who he is, or the average voter who doesn't even tune in until a month before the election.

Also, towel snapping and handshake records don't exactly impress me.

One problem is I doubt his ability to even carry his own state. NM has a 2:1 registration advantage of dem vs repub, yet it went red in 2004 and barely blue in 2000.

I agree with Paleo. Maybe a VP pick.

by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-08-14 10:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Geez...flip-side of Bush?
It's not really meant to be a ringing endorsement or a criticism. From a retail perspective, for whatever reason, that sort of thing seems to resonate with voters.

The fact that Bush won NM in '04 with Richardson strongly campaigning for Kerry is something that really bothers me.

by Scott Shields 2005-08-14 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Geez...flip-side of Bush?
Well you are on to something for sure. The more I think about it, he'd be a brilliant VP pick at the minimum, especially if you are right that he'd carry NM.

Imagine in 2016 he'd run as VP for president, and by that time how much more influence will the hispanic vote have gained? Enough said. This could be a power play.

by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-08-14 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Geez...flip-side of Bush?
Scott, I think the Richardson Presidential campaign dies in the snows of Iowa and New Hampshire.  

But my current calculus has Richardson losing the Veep spot to Wes Clark, a choice of military/anti-terrorism credentials over an overt line into the Hispanic vote.  I guess that would make him first bridesmaid.  (I ran for Prez and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.)

by InigoMontoya 2005-08-14 11:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Geez...flip-side of Bush?
If so, Richardson could make a great Sec of State. First hispanic?
by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-08-14 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Geez...flip-side of Bush?
Uh, Bill Richardson is second to no one in security issues my friend. Richardson was entrusted by both Clinton and Bush to deal with batshit-crazy dictators. Clark was "relieved" of his command just months before his term as NATO commamder was up, by the Clinton administration.

I'm not saying I don't like Clark. But come up with a better reason than that.

by zt155 2005-08-14 01:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Geez...flip-side of Bush?
Oh Jesus, don't tell me you believe that Clark being "relieved of command" had anything to do with his performance as supreme commander. That's a GOP election 2004 talking point. It's known to democrats that Clark's removal was a casualty of internal politics within the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- particularly the Chairman.

Next you'll be telling me John Kerry didn't deserve his medals.

by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-08-14 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Geez...flip-side of Bush?
In the sound-bite campaign medium, Clark beats the bejeezus out of Richardson on national security scandals.  "General" and "NATIO commander" beat "UN Secretary", "diplomat re rogue nations," and "Energy Dept. scandals", which is about as far as 90 percent of the voters will take it.
by InigoMontoya 2005-08-14 08:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Geez...flip-side of Bush?
He obviously carried NM in 2002.  He's pretty popular there.  He'd carry NM.

About the name thing, I agree that he doesn;t sound latino, look latino, or have a latino name... but he is latino.  That's gonna be a wildcard on the prez ballot, if he makes it.

I'm sure there are some who will vote for him just because of that, and there are some who will vote against him just because of that.  My guess is that most people who would vote against on that alone would be voting Repug anyway, and vice versa.

But I think that Repug outreach to Hispanic voters leading up to '08 would fall very flat if the Dem nominee were latino.  And latin name or no latin name, the latinos WOULD find out that Bill Richardson is hispanic.

by teknofyl 2005-08-14 10:35AM | 0 recs
He also Speaks
Latino Spanish, fluently.
by ROGNM 2005-08-14 11:08AM | 0 recs
Re: He also Speaks
haven't heard him speak spanish yet

I kept hearing how Bush and Gore and Kerry speak Spanish.  No they don't!  Their Spanish SUCKS!

Dude... someone should tell Bush to stop saying he speaks Spanish.  When that Mexican dude tells him that his Spanish is amazing... HE'S BEING POLITE!  Same goes for Gore and Kerry.

by teknofyl 2005-08-14 05:32PM | 0 recs
Of course...
...Bush can barely speak English, so...
by Geotpf 2005-08-14 07:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Of course...
point taken
by teknofyl 2005-08-18 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Geez...really Latino?
Funny thing, not long ago San Antonio
had a Mayor with a Spanish name,
but he couldn't speak that language.
( Didn't hurt him much at the polls. )

Bill Richardson habla espanol.

More than that, I think you can trust
the Hispanic voters to find out that
he is one of them. All of us usually
find out when one of our own is
on the ballot.

Campaigning for Kerry-Edwards in
N.C. last year, I took around a sheet
listing the "non-partisan" candidates
for judgeships who happened to be
Democrats. All the black folks I met
wanted to know which ones were
black like them.

Want to guess the percent of Jews
who knew that Kerry had a Jewish
grandparent vs. the per cent of
gentiles who knew it?

I'm much more concerned that
Governor Richardson blocked
any recount effort in his state.

This despite the closeness in
New Mexico's tally, and the many
reports of the now-standard voter
intimidation by the Republicans.

Maybe he was afraid that looking
like a Sore Loserman, by fighting for
a full and honest count, could hurt
him in his next campaign? Well,
I favor fighters.

That, and I'm worried about another
Dem getting it caught in his zipper.

One silly blow job cost us how many
seats in the Congressional elections
of 1998 and 2000?

And that silly blow job cost Gore and
us how many votes, oh, say, just in
Florida alone?

If we lost one tenth of a per cent of
all votes cast in Florida due to prudish
objections to that sort of stuff going on
in the White House, it was hundreds
of votes we could not afford to lose.

by Woody 2005-08-15 11:18AM | 0 recs
VP sounds good ot me.
by Liberal 2005-08-14 10:13AM | 0 recs
Did anyone wlse watch MTP?
Was it just me, or did fucking Biden say "Thank God I'm not the judiciary chairman..."???

So... THANK GOD THE DEMOCRATS AREN'T IN THE MAJORITY?  Well... fuck you too, Mr. Biden.  I'm not one for GOTCHA! word games, but... it's the sentiment, not the phrasing that pisses me off.

Winners want the ball in crunch time.

by teknofyl 2005-08-14 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Did anyone wlse watch MTP?
I'm guessing that Biden was not just referring to the Democrats minority status but also the fact that he exercised his option to be the senior Democrat on Foreign Relations several years ago, giving up that status on Judiciary to Leahy. Biden's had his share of S. Ct. nomination fights, and it just appears that he'd rather do foreign affairs.
by SLinVA 2005-08-14 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Did anyone wlse watch MTP?
The problem you face is context. What you say sounds viable if we all lived in a bubble. Once we start to   look at context, it comes across as though Biden is not someone meant to lead the Democratic Party which is what becoming President, de facto, entails.
by bruh21 2005-08-14 05:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Did anyone wlse watch MTP?

OK... duh!  That makes sense then.  I offically un-WTF?! Biden for that one.

I still am sore about the 'Dean doesn't speak for me' thing and amd downright pissed at the bankruptcy bill thing.

But yes... I totally misread what he said there.  Thanks.

by teknofyl 2005-08-14 05:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Did anyone wlse watch MTP?
Yes, that's EXACTLY what he meant. He's glad the Democrats are in the minority. That crazy Biden.

He's Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. He's never going to be Chair of the Judiciary Comm you dumb fuck!!! Majority or no. GOTCHA!!

by zt155 2005-08-14 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Did anyone wlse watch MTP?
Uh huh.  See above.  You sound awful excited... have you been trying to say 'gotcha!' for a while now?  Well good for you!!
by teknofyl 2005-08-14 05:36PM | 0 recs
electability does not win elections
The buzz on Richardson is all about his electability--a Hispanic, a governor, foreign policy credentials, a dogged campaigner--and says nothing about what Richardson stands for.  

We went through this with Kerry whose military resume supposedly made him better able to win than Dean or Edwards. Richardson's downsides include his mismanagement of the Los Alamos spy case while he was head of the DoE. There's undoubtedly more out there for the GOP to build a Richardson version of the swift boat, and thereby turn his strengths into weaknesses.  At that point we'll see what Richardson really brings to the campaign.    

The 2008 positioning thus far hasn't offered up much in terms of policy choices, Iraq in particular.  What the Democratic Party stands for in 2008 matters more than who they run to represent those stands.

by history prof 2005-08-14 11:09AM | 0 recs
Re: electability does not win elections
yes it does: Clinton was electible, Carter was electible, Obama was electible. These guys won their primaries because they were electible!

Kerry, BTW, was not electible in the traditional sense. I never thought he was - he is uncharismatic, stiff, intellectual, doesn't know how to campaign tough, is a veteran Senator, and is from the bluest state in the country. He was a totally wrong fit, though I still like him to this day as a Senator. Clark, in fact, was the most electible candidate, IMHO. Graham may have been as well (very popular in Florida - hint hint). Edwards was not, though, because despite his charisma he was unpopular in his home state, which is a no-no.

by raginillinoian 2005-08-14 11:22AM | 0 recs
Electable On Paper?
A lot of folks have a resume that looks good, but they're terrible campaigners. Clark spent a year contemplating a run for President, then botched his chances in the 1st days when he couldn't give an intelligible answer on the biggest issue of the day - Iraq. Graham was no better, and had he lasted longer, he'd have become a laughing stock when it became more widely known that he kept decades of diaries that included every little detail of his day - including each trip to the bathroom.
by SLinVA 2005-08-14 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Electable On Paper?
Isn't all of those reasons the same flaw that can be placed at the feet of both Hillary Clinton, Bayh, Warner and others? Namely, that they lack charisma? Which is why I wish people would start looking else where for another heir apparent because the choises right now are just so boring to listen too. We can't expect the American people to be politicos. They will listen if they feel inspired. I can't  name one person who instills those emotions amongst the people being named.
by bruh21 2005-08-14 05:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Electable On Paper?
I agree.. of course Bush doesn't have alot of Charisma either; just got lucky that Gore and Kerry have less.
by mtguyinokc 2005-08-14 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Electable On Paper?
You know, when people say this, I have no idea what they are talking about. Bush has a lot of charisma. Step back from your own partisanship for a minute. The truth is he is charismatic in that "I am one of the common man" sort of way. You need to understand the appeal of this in order to understand how it is charismatic.
by bruh21 2005-08-14 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Electable On Paper?
PS, and saying stuff like it was Kerry and Gore, misses the point. It was a combination of both Bush appearing as a common man along with the boring personalities of Gore and Kerry. Again, I wish people could step by sometimes and look at this not just through their own world view but how others see it. At the end of the day, as I told Kid Oakland, one of the problem is that Democrats are just as faith based in their own way as Republicans so stepping back may not be likely.
by bruh21 2005-08-14 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Electable On Paper?
Why be so mean to Graham? I like him a lot. He is smarter than people think, and he opposed the war in Iraq even though the infinitely easier political decision for him would have been to vote for it. He also won five statewide elections in FL by big margins, so some people must have liked him.
by desmoinesdem 2005-08-14 06:03PM | 0 recs
Re: electability does not win elections
A lot to disagree with in this post.

Clinton did not win the 92 nomination because he was "electable."  Maybe he was the frontrunner in late '91 because of that, but after Jennifer Flowers, his Vietnam draft evasion, pot smoking but not inhaling, he won the nomination because of incredibly little competition.  He was considered politically dead in the spring on '92, which is one of the reasons why Perot entered the race.  Both nominees looked incredibly weak.

Same with Carter.  He won the nomination because his message (religious, "trust me" anti-graft, anti Washington outsider) was perfect for that post Watergate election.  There was no talk that I recall about him being "electable" or not.  Certainly, he did not get any early support for being electable as most people thought a one term Governor from a small southern state had no chance to win.

I'm not from Illinois so I dont know if Obama was considered the most electable candidate.

And yes, Kerry did win the nomination almost completely because he was considered the most electable.  For whatever reason, the Democratic Party voters made that assumption, first in Iowa and then nationally, that he was the most electable person available.  Why else do you think he won?  Certainly, it had nothing to do with his actual attributes.

The person you were replying to is exactly right.  Being "electable" rarely wins elections.

Finally, in terms of Richardson, I have too major concerns about him.  First, he is running very much as a DLC type centrist Democrat.  I am not for this.  Second, there was a major spy scandal regarding nuclear technology while he was Secretary of Energy.  I think this will make him very weak in the general election.

by Andy Katz 2005-08-14 12:53PM | 0 recs
Re: electability does not win elections
What proof do we have of Richardson being a "DLC sellout" in terms of his stances on policy? He seems to be a moderate Democrat, and I dont think there's anything wrong with that...
by AC4508 2005-08-15 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: electability does not win elections
So you know for a fact that if another Democrat besides Kerry ran, THEY would have beat Bush. Could you please share this machine that allows you to view parallel universes. We could make a fortune!

And by the way if electability is Bullshit then I dom't want to hear about Hillary Clinton being UN-electable. Because that means her alternative would be the proverbial John Kerry to her Howard Dean.

How do you spell Deaniac? h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y.

by zt155 2005-08-14 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: electability does not win elections
I'll stick to advocating a focus on issues over magic bullet candidates as the way to winning the White House in 2008.  A couple of Democratic polling blogs have referenced a National Journal story on the accuracy of primary polls 3 years out from the election. Here are the 2001 averages for the 2004 Democratic nomination

WH '04 Dem Primary Averages
41% Al Gore
19% Hilary Clinton
9% Joe Lieberman
8% Bill Bradley
7% Dick Gephardt
4% John Kerry
2% John Edwards
2% Bob Kerrey


Forget the drop outs by Gore and Clinton, Lieberman had a double digit lead over the rest of the pack 3 years out.

Ruy Texiera argues sensibly that the 2006 midterms and the national narrative for the Democrats in those elections is what matters most for 2008.  (

As for Kerry and the alternatives, I thought Kerry did reasonably well, and I voted for him and gave him money.  That said, I think Kerry's loss owed a lot to his failure to distinguuish himself more clearly from Bush on issues that favored Democrats, specifically the war, trade, taxes, and healthcare.  

Advocating that the war be fought with greater competence, Kerry's line, was certanly a good idea; so was a middle-class tax freeze with a tax hike only for the wealthiest; so was closing the tax loophole that paid businesses to outsource jobs; so was Kerry's plan to have government pick up the cost of catastrophic healthcare coverage so as to lower overall rates provided by private insurers who would continue to serve as Americans' primary healthcare providers.  

The problem is that each of these stands was a nuanced modification of the basic conservative approach to these issues: stay in Iraq until the job is done, low taxes, free trade, private sector over public sector in medicine.  

Kerry had a great resume and he would unquestionably be doing a better job of governing than Bush, but he didn't win.  Along with the swift boat attacks that raised doubts about Kerry's strength, his campaign's inability to make the policy differences clearer helped a small majority of voters decide that change was riskier than sticking with Bush.

Would Dean have done better?  Dunno.  I was for
Kucinich.  Eventually I got around to liking his policies, but truth be told I started out backing him because of his resume (he grew up homeless).  

by history prof 2005-08-14 02:36PM | 0 recs
Re: electability does not win elections
Hillary never dropped out because she was never in. She said over and over she would not run in 2004 but the media needed a story.
by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-08-14 03:04PM | 0 recs
Re: electability does not win elections
You make no sense.  Go back, and try rewriting that comment as a coherent set of phrases and sentences.  And your spelling is awful...
h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y  doesn't spell Deniac at all... if it did, they would look the same when you type them.  Frikkin' IDIOT!

I personally think that Dean would have beaten Bush.  Bush won because he seemed to have the spine (he doesn'), and Kerry looked like he didn't (he doesn't), while Dean actually has spine out the ass (it's a rare medical disorder... it makes you say true shit that might be unwise, like that catching Saddam Hussein didn't make us any safer right in the middle of a primary campaign).

by teknofyl 2005-08-14 05:42PM | 0 recs
Re: electability does not win elections
I agree that substance matters infinitely more than "electability." And Richardson has substance. He has consdier foreign policy experience under his belt (which will be huge in '08), he's worked as the Energy Secretary which is important as gas prices become a huge factor, and he has shown that he can be an effective and popular executive. He's the man.
by AC4508 2005-08-15 09:21AM | 0 recs
Imperius? Total Loyalty?
That's a recipe for disaster, I think.
by Drew 2005-08-14 11:12AM | 0 recs
Good candidate
Popular southwestern governor...what could be better? Here:

  • has foreign policy experience
  • has executive experience
  • not wishy-washy; has a backbone
  • no recent votes that could bite him in the ass
  • a Latino (EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO DO WELL IN THE WEST AND FLORIDA) who is against illegal immigration (also important as most Americans are against illegal immigration)
  • southwestern (VERY IMPORTANT - wins New Mexico, probably Nevada, maybe Colorado/Florida, maybe even Arizona)
by raginillinoian 2005-08-14 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Good candidate
He's against illegal immigration? He must be a moderate/conservative democrat then. I do agree that's an important position to take -- I don't understand how anyone can be pro-illegal immigration. We should be finding ways to help more of these people cross over into our system legally.
by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-08-14 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Good candidate
Yes, he is a moderate. Actually, the illegal immigration issue is not really ideological, it's more about your values system. A lot of right-wing Republicans (like President Bush) are for illegal immigration (because it helps business), as are a lot of liberal Democrats (because some of us are guilty of codependence and trying to "help poor Hispanics").
by raginillinoian 2005-08-14 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Good candidate
Yesterday (Saturday August 13, 2005), Richardson declared four border counties (Luna, Grant, Dona Ana and Hidalgo) in a state of emergency and took a swipe at G WB and Congress for not providing needed funding. "The federal government and the Congress are not delivering what we need so I freed up some emergency funds for overtime personnel, for hiring of more law enforcement and for ways to protect our cattle and property."

by ROGNM 2005-08-14 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Good candidate
This is why I believe we should be doing everything we can to raise quotas and help these people enter the system legally. Make it attractive for them to apply for entry and expedite the process, perhaps even offer limited federal services and job placements. The 21st century version of Ellis Island for a new generation of immigrants.

We can benefit businesses, national security, and people in need.

by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-08-14 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Good candidate
For once, I agree with you completely.  I think Dems should favor securing the border "by any means necessary" in order to stop illegals, and more importantly, potential terrorists.  But, we need to greatly increase the amount of legal inmigration we permit.
by Andy Katz 2005-08-14 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Good candidate
I don't understand the conflict on this issue. To me it's very clear-cut and everyone can win on it.
by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-08-14 03:05PM | 0 recs
I've seen Richardson speak at DLC events
in 1999-2000 long before I quit the group due to Al From's arrogance and silly rhetoric toward Dean (even though I was/am a Clark guy) and "internet activists" and was very impressed by him.

But, he's got a huge security credibility problem stemming from the Los Alamos security breaches when he was Sec. of Energy.  The right wing/swift boat machine will be all over this and the media will parrot the GOP talking points like they often do and it will be a difficult point to overcome in a close race.

I could see him as Sec. of State.  

by jdavidson 2005-08-14 01:23PM | 0 recs
Re: I've seen Richardson speak at DLC events
i agree totally with this analysis.

Also, I lost trust in Richardson when he obstructed the recount in NM. Probably it wouldn't have changed the result, but his obstruction made me think he was trying to cover up petty misdeeds by Dem cronies somewhere.

by desmoinesdem 2005-08-14 06:05PM | 0 recs
Too fat
He's really going to need to lose some weight before he can hope to make a national campaign.  He would be the tubbiest President since Taft, and Americans (despite their weight problems) usually go for fit or at least average-weight candidates.

Not a comment about his political appeal, but a statement on what I think his chances in vogue-USA would be.

by HoosierJosh 2005-08-14 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Too fat
Sadly, you are probably right. I forgot where I read it, but there was a study where women consistently polled higher on candidates they thought were attractive physically. Partially explaining Edward's appeal with women. We're a very superficial society these days and looks matter.
by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-08-14 03:07PM | 0 recs
There's a gay friend of my wife...
... who was drooling over Edwards all during the campaign.  I cannot count how many times I heard,

"Ohhhh... I'm'onna vote for Kerry just because his VP is a HOTTIE... yum-mie!"

He had me cracking up!  He's not political at all, but he sure did think Edwards was the SHIT!

by teknofyl 2005-08-14 05:46PM | 0 recs
No amount of third-party posturing is going to change the fact that Richardson is DLC "centrist" whose election will do nothing for the Democratic Party in the long term. Every time 2008 comes up, Democrats seem to ignore the issue of party-building: we need a president who BELIEVES in the Democratic Party--NOT a president who publicly and proudly supports an organizations whose sole purpose is to weaken and liken it to the Communists.

No Richardson, no Bayh, and no Vilsack in 2008. We need someone who will lead and defend us, not someone who will use us as a vehicle for entering the White House.

by Covin 2005-08-14 01:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Sorry.
by Andy Katz 2005-08-14 03:57PM | 0 recs
Progressives and fighting Democrats either wrestle the party away from the DLC or Democrats will be further viewed as no different from the GOP as party and lose more ground, sinking further into the minority.
by michael in chicago 2005-08-14 04:14PM | 0 recs
TV appearances
A year ago I thought Richardson was the perfect paper candidate for VP. He'sd "cinch" New mexico and give us a very good chance in Colorado, Nevada, and possibly Arizona.  Yes, I knew he could be slimed but by then it was obvious that any Democrat would be slimed by the RWNM.

What changed my mind was a couple of TV appearances.  Richardson was bland, formal, and seemed afflicted with DLC-of-the-mouth disease when talking about fellow Democrats and Bush.  

LBJ was legendarily one of the biggest most boisterous characters ever produced by the Senate.  Put Lyndon in front of a TV and he became kind of a sickly white-bread caracature of himself.  The experrts and psycho-babble armchair analysts said that Johnson was a mix between the back slapping backwoods politician that was his father, Sam Johnson, and the prim schoolmarm who was his mother, Rebecca.  Put him in front of a camera and the natural politician just disappeared.  I wonder if something along the same lines is playing out between the Anglo father and the Mexican mom within Richardson?

He's got a couple years to get it together but the Iowa and New Hampshire crowd seem pretty unforgiving.  The winner in Iowa will get between 30,000 amd 35,000 votes at the Iowa caucusses.  And that will probably include 5 to 10 thousand second-choice ballots.  That's assuming that Vilsack does not run: in that case, Iowa will be written off and the race (like in 92) will start in New Hampshire.

by David Kowalski 2005-08-14 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: TV appearances
I disagree. I know many, many active Iowa Democrats, and not a single one wants Vilsack to run for president. This isn't Harkin, who is genuinely liked in the Iowa Democratic Party.

If Vilsack stupidly runs for president, at least a few people will try to make a go of it in Iowa to "beat expectations." They will beat expectations (and Vilsack) by a mile. I'm betting he doesn't even run once he figures out how little support he has among the people who will be field organizers, precinct captains, etc.

by desmoinesdem 2005-08-14 06:07PM | 0 recs
Harkin and Vilsack
Harkin, at least to a non-Iowan seems a lot more emotional, committed, and caring.  I like what little of him that i've seen over the years.  Vilsack never stirred me but that was based on very little.

Maybe Harkin drew 70% plus for a reason in 92.

by David Kowalski 2005-08-14 07:12PM | 0 recs
Richardson Has No Coat-Tails Where He Sould...
nor does he appeal to me as a national figure. He comes across at home (where I lived for 5 years) as a ho ho machine politician who has helped torpedo more progressives than you can probably count. For whatever reason, Richardson failed to carry NM for Kerry, and even more egregious, failed to unseat the Congress Bitch from Albuquerque when she was vulnerable. Up close, Richardson seems to genuinely enjoy the "fiesta" aspects of governing and has proven to be a true purple inside DLC guy in NM politics. With the exception of his actual poundage, Richardson strikes me as Lite Lite Lite. VP maybe.
by DFATMA 2005-08-14 02:13PM | 0 recs
Resumes Don't Mean A Thing
There are always plenty of people with great 'resumes' for the presidency.  None of them ever get elected.  If 'resume' had any value, Bush wouldn't be president, he wouldn't even have been a factor in the primaries.

What the party needs is a messenger in chief, a symbol, a heuristic, a creature of television, a spokes-creature, a cipher with an acceptable appearance and, if the War On Terror is still the issue, a male who is can deliver simple-minded catch-phrases and childish, playground threats in a manner that makes the corporate press/media all gooey inside, as if they'd just witnessed history rather than farce.

The Democrats are not going anywhere as long as they believe that the 'right candidate' can change the course of events.  We have had the better candidate in every election since 1928.

The Democratic Party has to work on its local level organization and the connection between that and state and the national party.  The Republicans' organization works well together, follows orders and delivers votes.  The Democrats' organization can't even be called by that name.

The Democrats also have to take on and destroy the Big Republican Noise and Smear Machine.  That and that alone has propped up the Republicans, despite their incompetence, corruption and criminal conduct, ever since the Reagan years.

Most Democrats and Democratic pundits are clueless about this.  They seem to think that if they conduct themselves in a particular way, or speak in a particular way, that the Big Machine will not attack them and destroy them.  They are blind or stupid.  The only reason the Big Machine exists is to destroy them.

So let's forget the 'Democrats' Next Top Model' show.  Until the system changes, it doesn't matter who it is, what that person has done in their life, or how smart, popular or well-funded they are. Come election time, they are going to be pro-terrorist, pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion, lacking in moral values, weak on national security, eager to raises taxes, too allied with 'special interests' and the whole menu.

by James Earl 2005-08-14 02:48PM | 0 recs
I'll pass on POTUS AND VP
"Gov. Richardson wants you to be with him 100% of the time. If you're with him 99% of the time, you're his enemy."

Not a true leader. The last sort of personality that you want to be President. You want some one that can reach out and unite, like Clinton (Bill, that is)not Der Fuhrer. Haven't we had enough of that these last five years?

by antiHyde 2005-08-14 03:15PM | 0 recs
Re: I'll pass on POTUS AND VP
And how many candidates are there who you can identify with 100% of the time? Unless you run yourself, probably none.
by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-08-14 03:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Absolutely none.
I sometimes disagree with myself.   Yeah, it's a problem being able to see several sides of an issue.
by InigoMontoya 2005-08-14 08:44PM | 0 recs
Re: I'll pass on POTUS AND VP
Don't put words in my mouth. I don't have to agree with them 100% of the time. Greater than 50% works for me. But Richardson thinks 99% is not enough. You have to agree 100% or you're his enemy? That's a dictator.
by antiHyde 2005-08-15 07:22AM | 0 recs
A candidate who appeals to the Democratic base
The more I read about the candidates, the more convinced I am that we need a candidate who appeals to the Democratic base. Howard Dean may end up being drafted whether he likes it or not.

These two comments summarize my views on the next Democratic nominee:

Sorry. (3.00 / 1)

No amount of third-party posturing is going to change the fact that Richardson is DLC "centrist" whose election will do nothing for the Democratic Party in the long term. Every time 2008 comes up, Democrats seem to ignore the issue of party-building: we need a president who BELIEVES in the Democratic Party--NOT a president who publicly and proudly supports an organizations whose sole purpose is to weaken and liken it to the Communists.

No Richardson, no Bayh, and no Vilsack in 2008. We need someone who will lead and defend us, not someone who will use us as a vehicle for entering the White House.

by Covin on Sun Aug 14th, 2005 at 01:39:32 PM PST

TV appearances (none / 0)

A year ago I thought Richardson was the perfect paper candidate for VP. He'sd "cinch" New mexico and give us a very good chance in Colorado, Nevada, and possibly Arizona.  Yes, I knew he could be slimed but by then it was obvious that any Democrat would be slimed by the RWNM.

What changed my mind was a couple of TV appearances.  Richardson was bland, formal, and seemed afflicted with DLC-of-the-mouth disease when talking about fellow Democrats and Bush.  

LBJ was legendarily one of the biggest most boisterous characters ever produced by the Senate.  Put Lyndon in front of a TV and he became kind of a sickly white-bread caracature of himself.  The experrts and psycho-babble armchair analysts said that Johnson was a mix between the back slapping backwoods politician that was his father, Sam Johnson, and the prim schoolmarm who was his mother, Rebecca.  Put him in front of a camera and the natural politician just disappeared.  I wonder if something along the same lines is playing out between the Anglo father and the Mexican mom within Richardson?

He's got a couple years to get it together but the Iowa and New Hampshire crowd seem pretty unforgiving.  The winner in Iowa will get between 30,000 amd 35,000 votes at the Iowa caucusses.  And that will probably include 5 to 10 thousand second-choice ballots.  That's assuming that Vilsack does not run: in that case, Iowa will be written off and the race (like in 92) will start in New Hampshire.

by kowalski on Sun Aug 14th, 2005 at 02:05:04 PM PST

I don't care what anyone says, a pro-Iraq war Democrat is not going to win the Democratic primary. If the Democratic front runners continue to listen to the Strategic Class instead of the grassroots, the party will head right over the cliff and a Republican will win.

Cindy Sheehan's question will have to be answered by every candidate for President in 2008:

What is the noble purpose that my son died for?

Answer that question or keep your current day job. You will not advance to the White House supporting Bush's war.

Covin and kowalski both zero in on the primary qualification for the Democratic primary:

(1.) Take clear Democratic positions on issues and stand your ground.

(2.) Have a backbone and talk like a Democrat, not a muddle of the road DLCer.

(3.) Pander to the Democratic base, not the Republican base.

(4.) Attack Republicans, not Democrats.

(5.) Campaign with Howard Dean or switch parties. Anyone who thinks they can run against Howard Dean at this late date lacks the judgment to be President. You better consolidate your base or you're going to lose.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-08-14 03:40PM | 0 recs
We don't need Dean
We need Feingold.
by Geotpf 2005-08-14 08:03PM | 0 recs
Re: We don't need Dean
We need both
by teknofyl 2005-08-18 12:26PM | 0 recs
Re: A candidate who appeals to the Democratic base
I would love for Dean to be President, but he's promised not to run and it would take an awful lot of drafting to change his mind on that.  It's very hard to switch from party chair to presidential candidate in the same cycle, because everyone starts wondering if you've used your position to further your own chances, and second-guessing all the party officials and decisions on things like primary dates and so on.  I think the best chance for Dean to become President is to be someone's VP choice.

The two potential 2008 candidates who have my interest both have big drawbacks, but usually every candidate does.  Feingold is a Senator, which is not often the best qualification for executive office, and Clark has never held elected office of any kind.  I like to see a candidate's record as governor, or at least big city mayor, to judge what kind of president they'd be.  But I can't think of a Democratic governor or recent former governor who I could get behind who is likely to run in 2008.  (No, Schweitzer is not gonna run.  Don't even say it.)

Whatever happens, I'd like to see Dean as president or VP, and Clark in the administration somewhere, because between the two of them they are the best qualified team to address the huge problems facing our country.

The thing that scares me by far the most about the state of our country now, is our financial mess and the looming disaster it's leading us to.  Nobody is as qualified to take that on as Dean.  He is passionate about budgets, skillful at both the politics and the finances, he can be a real hardass about it and retain the support and trust of the left, and he's an absolute sticker for reality rather than political fantasy.  If anyone can get us out of this mess, it's him.

Complementarily, if there's anyone on the horizon who could handle Iraq, extract is from it in the least disastrous possible fashion, put together an international coalition, and assemble real international cooperation on peacekeeping and combating terrorism all over the globe, it's probably Clark.

Next up, we need to restore Americans' trust in government and in the presidency, re-engage them in politics, and shift power from the rich to the many.  And that's exactly what Dean can do, possibly better than anyone else we know of.  And, of course, we need universal health care, something Dean forced back onto the political scene, and will actually make happen in any administration he's a prominent member of.

by cos 2005-08-14 08:31PM | 0 recs
Re: A candidate who appeals to the Democratic base
I could go for Dean as VP... would prefer the top spot.  I love the guy.  I'm a Dean Democrat, no doubt.
by teknofyl 2005-08-18 12:28PM | 0 recs
I have been thinking of him lately, and he may be a very good candidate.  He's a moderate.  He has great foreign policy experience.  He was in the House and is Governor.  His region is a great swing area, which could help us get over the edge.  With him we can probably take AZ, NV, NM, and CO.  I think that is enough to push us over the edge.  His ethnicity wins us a lot of hispanic votes, winning us other states.
by Max Friedman 2005-08-14 03:55PM | 0 recs
Can we have better choices?
Seriously, right now, the only person I am liking is Wesley Clark, and his central draw back is that he's never held an elected office. This is for me a majory draw back fo the position. Everyone else just doesn't speak plainly enough to win amongst common people. Reagan, Clinton and Bush Jr have the common folk quality to them that the American people, and frankly, at this point in my life, that I love too. The reason why is that I do think character counts  for a lot in the role of the Presidency. You can list any number of issues you want, and I will probably agree with the Democratic positions, but for the role of the President we need someone we can feel we can trust. I know we can't trust Bush. He's a liar and a con artists. But, who among the Democrats can we trust to keep their word? This is crucial- this is what killed Kerry in his campaign. The sense that Kerry was weak because he could not be trusted. Also, can we please nominate someone who is charismatic. Seriously right now the choices all seem about as interesting as paint drying on the wall. The one thing that Gen Clark has going for him is that because he is so forth right, he overcomes the foot-in-mouth disease that afflicts most of the party right now. But, still he's untested, and I am not sure the greatest office in the land should be controlled by someone who is untested especially when weathering the war that will come with the Republicans if they should lose in 2008. If you think Clinton was a dirty tricks campaign by the Republicans, I can only imagine the Democrat in office in 2009 will face hell on earth. When looking at choices, all of this has got to be considered. Basically, I want a Paul Hackett type of candidate for the Presidency.
by bruh21 2005-08-14 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Can we have better choices?
Clark could be good, but what do you think of Russ Feingold?  He speaks plainly and directly, and he has held elected office - and won some fierce elections in a key swing state, outperforming Kerry significantly in 2004.  His notoriety as the lone vote against the Patriot Act in the Senate will draw a clear contrast with the Republicans, too.  I've seen him speak, and he's very good.
by cos 2005-08-14 08:14PM | 0 recs
Richardson in 2008
I posted a diary earlier in the week where I said Richardson was my pick in 2004. Ultimately, I think it may be 2008 before Democrats take back the White House, and my hope is that Barack Obama is running then. Obama is inspiring and certainly not patrician or dull like Kerry and Gore were. He earned my vote last year.
by Ken Camp 2005-08-14 05:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Richardson in 2008
Obama will not run in 2008.  I'm pretty sure he's said it, but even if he hasn't said it explicitly I very very highly doubt it.  He's a newly elected Senator just beginning his first term.  To run in 2008 he'd have to start campaigning next year, after being a Senator for less than two years.  It'd be ridiculous.  I'm pretty sure he's looking forward to serving his full term and being re-elected to the Senate in 2010.
by cos 2005-08-14 08:09PM | 0 recs
No Bill Richardson, please
One of the strongest nationwide messages the Democrats have available to them and really ought to use in the next few elections, is Democracy itself: the right to vote, election reform, and so on.  "Democracy and Fair Elections"

Many people care passionately about it, and it's an important and good thing we ought to do for the country, that would sway many voters to support Democrats.  Grassroots citizens groups are actively organizing about it.  It's a huge media issue, after Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004.  The Voting Rights Act itself sunsets in 2007.  We can campaign on this.

Bill Richardson's anti-recount antics in New Mexico in 2004 completely disarm him on this important issue, much as Kerry's vote for the Iraq war disarmed him on that most important issue.

We cannot run someone whose hands are dirty on fair elections.  It would be a tremendous missed opportunity.  Bill Richardson has disqualified himself from the 2004 nomination, and we'd be fools to pick him.

by cos 2005-08-14 07:56PM | 0 recs
Favorable buzz?

I don't think the LA Times piece was so favorable.  He sounds like a self-important, grandiose tyrant.  These early stories are always about the buzz--why would anyone profile a potential candidate without any prospect of being a viable candidate?
But there was a lot of interesting negative material here--reading about his 100 mph don't mess with me fanvcy SUV sure made me think of former SD governor Janklow who killed a motorcyclist while speeding (as he habitually did) and ended his political career.

Richardson couldn't (or wouldn't?) deliver NM for Kerry after Gore won there in 2000.  He was supposedly building a new Dem machine in the state.  He has the negatives of Clinton (rumors of sexual misbehavior; lack of personal discipline in other areas) without the positive TV presence.  Richardson absolutely sucks on TV--too careful, too centrist, too "packaged."  His demographic and regional appeal is undeniable--he might be an ideal VP nominee.  But as the top of the ticket?  I don't think so.

I don't see him beating Warner, Edwards or Clark in early primaries (if they all run) and he would need to do that whether or not HRC was in the race  

by Thaddeus 2005-08-15 08:54AM | 0 recs


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