If and when he makes the necessary changes and finally starts showing the smarts and wits I know he has in abundance, it'll go back up with his photo to my link to my most recent Richardson posts.
Bill Richardson for President
(Originally posted February 2007, edited June 2007)
SouthBeachHoosier has been a longtime supporter of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's presidential ambitions since first meeting and speaking with him fairly often in 1990, when he was still representing New Mexico in Congress. In fact, until I brought his name up once in a conversation in Georgetown about what I thought was the poor quality of novice House Democratic candidates, he'd never even heard of Bernie Sanders, the Independent Socialist running for the House in Vermont -now a U.S. Senator.
This, despite the heavy saturation coverage Sanders initial House candidacy received on slow-news weekends, with long pieces on Saturday and Sunday network news shows -usually after a basketball game or golf tourney- that most candidates could only dream of.
That surprised me, since he was usually very up to date on what was going on within the party, as well as with pop culture, unlike certain other people I can think of who live in hermetically sealed bubbles -Hillary- and who are continually trying to show their genuine self and sense of sincerity.
While he's not perfect, that's never been one of Bill's problem, which is one of the reasons why I always though he'd have great national appeal beyond the usual groups, once he started talking about new ideas with at least half of the fire and conviction as Newt Gingrich, whom I've really come to admire much more over the years because of his willingness to actually do the hard work that it takes to come up with real ideas that are based on facts and reason, rather than farming it off to focus groups, which is SO much more common than most Americans have any idea of.
I know of what I speak because I was a pretty regular participant in focus groups in both Alexandria and Fairfax County in northern Virginia, both of which dealt with political ideas and ads as well as consumer goods or trade association marketing campaigns.
But for whatever reason, the ideas aren't coming, and the ones that are, are NOT ideas I like. http://www.richardsonforpresident.com/
My own experience in working on presidential campaigns at a fairly high level made one thing perfectly clear tome -politics at the presidential level is about what is possible AND about winning. Richardson's current immigration policies are extremely problematic in that regard, being too much carrot and not enough stick, with TOO much emphasis on keeping families together, rather than having a strong defensible border being the first prong of a multi-disciplined approach that emphasizes logic, reason and an understanding of human behavior.
Since it often seems to be mis-quoted or taken out of context, Theodore Roosevelt's famous quote was "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
TR did NOT say that diplomacy and negotiations were THE answers to every single policy or process problem, domestically or overseas.
Unfortunately, as was the case with his appearance on the May 27th Meet the Press, I sometimes get the sense that when Gov. Richardson appears on public policy chat shows, in his understandable desire to talk about his impressive resume and how he'd be better-suited -both intellectually and temperamentally- to handle a particular problem than both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, he neglects to point out that will, resolve and action are just as important as diplomacy in solving a problem.
That's largely why I'm so troubled and dismayed by the recent words and actions of someone I've admired and respected for so long, and for whom I had such high hopes.
Additionally, in my opinion, trying to appeal to the Daily Kos and the Moveon.org crowd, as he's been doing lately, is a real loser of a tactic, and ultimately, will prove to be a waste of both time and resources, two things he doesn't have in abundance to begin with. Reason?
Because there's no satisfying that crowd.
They'll always want more than is reasonable or practical under our political system -based on compromise- and will constantly wake-up tomorrow demanding to "move the goalposts."
(That's why people like that 'burn out' their friends and families at holidays, because how many times can you patiently listen to conspiracy theories over one weekend?
Especially ones they learned about thru British websites?
How many times can you hear about "secret" Bush plans for this or that, which, apparently, are conveniently on several liberal websites, which you'd logically think, would argue against it being a secret, per se, but apparently not.
Like dogs chasing their tails and actually thinking that they're getting closer, -see Comedy Central's TV Funhouse- it's a no-win situation.)
Their vituperative rants only scare away the sort of reasonable people in the middle -who once voted for Perot or Bill Clinton- whom you need to even be competitive and win in the West & South in a November general election. People like me.
As of June 9th, Richardson's plausible scenario for being the alternative to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is showing a pronounced lack of the kind of new ideas he needs to be presenting to make the contrast with them even clearer.
(Since I have had him on a daily Google Alert for the past 18 months, I've seen just about every story or blog post written about him, good and bad.)
His impressive resume, while enough to entice some people to the campaign, is NOT a real substitute for a winning & coherent strategy that takes unexplicable human behavior -voting- into account, especially in a front-running area like South Florida, where everyone wants to be with the "in crowd," and thus may not vote for Richardson if their condo friends have convinced them that Hillary has it locked up. Where's the counter-strategy?
The fact that Bill's campaign seems to be floundering and too tentative, seemingly waiting for "something" to happen, is very troubling to me, and should concren all supporters of Richardson.
Without giving voters like me who are already predisposed to vote for him some signs of a reasonably coherent campaign strategy, and not just relying on Obama and Clinton to self-destruct like John Edwards -whom I voted for in the 2004 FL primary but have since turned on with a vengeance- Richardson can't possible win the FL primary that's a must-win for him.
I haven't given up completely, but time's a wastin' my friend. It's time to get cracking!!!
She ran against her former boss -and beat- Beryl Anthony, a popular incumbent Democratic Ark. congressman in the primary!
(I used to run into Rep. Anthony all the time at DC film premieres or sneak previews, usually up at the theatre in Tenleytown on Connecticut Avenue.)
In 1998 she was elected to the U.S. Senate, re-elected in 2004.
Blanche Lincoln is a true profile in courage! http://lincoln.senate.gov/
But with or without Bill Richardson, Blanche Lincoln will be playing a much larger role within the party than most of the usual suspects you continually see on the Sunday morning chat shows.
She's got moxie and the kind of 'down home' sincerity that Hillary can only envy from a distance!
And perspective that comes from being one of the few female members who've actually worked their way up the chain thru hard work and savvy, and not, as is common with seemingly every well-known elected female Democrat from California, thru their husband's wealth and/or connections.
In that respect, she's much like that other SouthBeachHoosier fave, Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, from South Dakota, who never does anything less than wow me every time I see her, with her keen insight and common sense.
Definitely a Blue Dog! http://hersethsandlin.house.gov/
Together, they remind me of a fascinating woman I first spoke to by phone and interviewed outside of a 7/11 in 1988, while doing research for an election project at USA Today, when she was running for Dan Quayle's old House seat, and whom I spoke to every now and then once she got elected years later, former Congresswoman Jill Long Thompson from Fort Wayne.
If we could only clone Jill, Blanche and Stephanie, the national Democratic Party would have a much brighter future and be competitive in ways that the current consultant-heavy DNC could never imagine.