I have been quietly dawning Richardsons full withdrawal plan , here in the land of the conservative white man. Lo and behold he's got traction even amongst the reddest of redneck red states. Thats to me, quietly amazing and represents a great gambit that richardson can take.
The red states are begging for hillary to run, and be the candidate -first and foremost. The billboards are printed, the flyers are out there. They want hillary. And they've already de-tuned the population against her. It is a huge uphill battle for Hillary in the red states.
But Bill Richardson is a dark horse and when people learn he's been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times, he was an UN Ambassador, a Secretary of Energy - they stop and listen. And then, most importantly, when the red staters hear that Bill's plan is to bring all the troops back - at a specific and firm date , where we bring all of America's weight to bear on the newly formed Iraqi government to take over and step in, just as we did in Afghanistan (to a great extent) - its hitting home with joe six pack and thats huge down here. Georgia is 17 electoral votes (I think), Florida is being influenced by the elite of Atlanta. The whole of south carolina wrests in a hugely conservative bloc that has all but officially declared that they are up in the air and looking on both sides of the aisle.
Its not conservative credentials that, to my view, comprise the weight of Richardson's gambit - its his diplomatic and executive credentials - throw that into the hat, and we just might see Bill coming out a winner. I am frankly surprised at the traction Bill is gaining, and I for one, believe that there is fertile ground in Atlanta for Bill to plow. And whats even more interesting is that - a person I know who is connected to the Edwards campaign openly speaks of bill to be a great choice for VP. What to my mind makes the game all the more interesting is what seems to be the natural conversation flow, that follows a statement like "He's my second choice. I think he'd make a great VP". You almost always tend to get the following ...
- He'd make a great Secretary of State
- He'd be an Awesome Cabinet Member for Dept. of Energy
- He could be really effective as a mid East Diplomat
As it dawns on me, personally - that the real weight of the Iraq problem - as long as we don't essentially cede both Iran and Iraq to the European Union, is diplomatic in Nature, involving a balance of Power with Turkey (re: Kurdistan) and the forces of Iran and Saudi Arabia, and even to a lesser extent Syria and perhaps Israel - when you take all that together, those are the countries that could really press Iraq into a configuration that works. Right now, corruption is institutionalized in the Iraqi constitution (ministers caught taking bribes can legally pay ministers above them to dismiss the investigation) - and two stunning statistics - 70% of Iraqi citizens feel America should not be there in their country, and a full 60% of Iraqi citizens consider the option of murdering Americans to make them leave, a valid and acceptable choice.
Its not my intent to make this a Bill Richardson love fest. His "interview" ads sort of really brought out alot about what I had been saying much before the race started heating up, regarding his qualifications. When we discussed the race tonight, and as I warm up to get involved - I really want to hear the different viewpoints. Some believe its like going into your girlfriends home and bringing your kids, and then , the idea of complete withdrawal akin to messing up her home and not fixing it, you know - sort of trashing the place and not cleaning up after ourselves. A kind of rude and unacceptable thing. I am politically quite an independent although the Democrats have given me no reason whatsoever to desert them, and what I want to know, as, over the years I am now finding myself quite willing to cast my lot with them (I am told people stay democrats for life) - what of Bill Richardson, if he were the democratic party's de facto leader, would make him any better than some of the other candidates? What are his weak points? Could his solution really work? All I know is that there is something both profound and , if you will, slightly amusing that there exists a candidate who could also be his own cabinet if he were so appointed. >:)