Richardson: Then and Now

Per his words: "It was tough to make the call, but I did. It got a little heated. It got a little tense. But it was understood, and I'm proud of my decision."

Richardson said this, but when. It was during his call to Hillary letting her know that he is backing Obama. Now, after accepting a demotion as Commerce Secretary, he is withdrawing.

Per the President Elect: "I can tell you that there are very few people in American public life that have the breadth and depth of experience that Bill Richardson has," In what? In dealing with corruption and trading monies for favors?

This what Richardson had to say..."There's something special about this guy," Mr. Richardson said of Mr. Obama. "I've been trying to figure it out, but it's very good." Well keep figuring, because now you have absolutely no part in any administration and your term as Governor is about to expire.

Maybe you should call Hillary or Bill and see if they can get you a job?

Good Luck and Good Riddance.

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A Brief Note on "Judas"

As some users are flinging "Judas" left and right with regard to Bill Richardson, they may want to consider a few things about the term.  While I do not think that the term is intentionally or even inadvertently anti-Semitic, and I do not for a second believe that anyone who uses it is necessarily an anti-Semite, it has a nasty history.

First off, Judas is not an unequivocal villain in all Christian traditions.  Without Judas there is no crucifixion and no resurrection, no salvation (at least for gentiles).  In fact some patristic writings emphasize that Judas's true sin was not betrayal, but despair and suicide.  There even seems to have been a sect of early Christians in Egypt who venerated him and held a "Gospel of Judas" as sacred scripture.  (I'm not linking any of this as we're all quite capable with wikipedia and google these days and none of this is very controversial).

Judas villainy received emphasis in medieval Passion Plays, often performed at Easter, and which often preceded violent anti-Jewish riots and pogroms.  Judas was caricatured with a large prosthetic nose and red wig and used to fan anti-Jewish sentiment.  Furthermore, he was used to promote the idea that Jews were inherently seditious and traitorous and thus a menace to any society that included them.  Judas became a stand-in for Jews in general.

If you are comfortable with this history or consider it no longer relevant, I'll not dispute your usage though I am deeply uncomfortable with it.

Finally, Judas is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Yehudah.  That was my father's name.  My two-year-old son now bears it in his memory.  I'll not take your usage as a personal affront or an anti-Semitic slur.  But you should know that many Jews of all political backgrounds find it hurtful.

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Richardson to withdraw as Commerce Secretary!

NBC is reporting that:

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, tapped in December by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as secretary of Commerce, has withdrawn his name for the position, citing a pending investigation into a company that has done business with his state.

"Let me say unequivocally that I and my Administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact," he said Sunday in a report by NBC News. "But I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process."

He said he plans to continue in his role as governor. "I appreciate the confidence President-elect Obama has shown in me, and value our friendship and working partnership. I told him that I am eager to serve in the future in any way he deems useful. And like all Americans, I pray for his success and the success of our beloved country."

Have I missed something????  Or is this out-of-left field?

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bloomberg reported on another Dem pay to play

This was reported a couple of weeks ago and I'm still trying to wrap my head around the validity or the potency of this coming up as an issue during Bill Richardson's senate confirmation. Democrats don't need another distraction by another prominent democrat involved in pay to play politics;  Well this will be interesting to follow. 0601103&sid=aL0GGUluJeT8&refer=u s  The company is question has already been indicted in Alabama I heard.

A federal grand jury is investigating how a company that advised Jefferson County, Alabama, on bond deals that threaten to cause the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, did similar work in New Mexico after making contributions to Governor Bill Richardson's political action committees.

The grand jury in Albuquerque is looking into Beverly Hills, California-based CDR Financial Products Inc., which received almost $1.5 million in fees from the New Mexico Finance Authority in 2004 after donating $100,000 to Richardson's efforts to register Hispanic and American Indian voters and pay for expenses at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, people familiar with the matter said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation asked current and former officials from the state agency if any staff members in the governor's office influenced CDR's hiring, said the people, who declined to be identified because the proceedings are secret. Richardson, who is President-elect Barack Obama's designate for Commerce Secretary, has a staff of at least 30 people.

"They're looking at everything related to CDR," William Sisneros, the finance agency's chief executive officer, said of the FBI probe. "They're just trying to evaluate all the relationships to see what CDR was doing for the money."

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The SoS position

Hey, I am back. Don't you think Richardson would make a better SoS anyway?  He's been very results-oriented in his past ventures overseas on behalf of the US. I also think that John Kerry would be a great SoS. Clinton doesn't strike me as someone that's been as focused on international affairs as have those two. And regardless, it looks like it won't happen:
An adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said the former first lady is flattered by Obama's offer to make her secretary of State, but has reservations about leaving her Senate post (New York Times).

Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., has asked Clinton to shepherd health care reform through Congress (Los Angeles Times) and she is reportedly considering turning down Obama's offer in favor of taking on this role (Politico).

That said, Obama's 'team of rivals' mode is big thinking, and indicative of his intention (which he mentioned election night) of being a two term President. He knows its a two-fer with Bill Clinton aiding Hillary too, in the SoS position (does he want it more than she-- what drama); three birds with one stone might be too far a stretch.

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