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Bill Richardson forms exploratory committee, nobody cares
February 20, 2007 2:01 PM   Subscribe

Matthew Yglesias: Bill Richardson--former ambassador to the UN, former Energy Secretary, and current governor of New Mexico--is "clearly more qualified for the White House than anyone else in the race," so why isn't anyone paying attention to his candidacy? Includes link to a recent speech by Richardson on foreign policy at CSIS.
posted by russilwvong (54 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Could be the slovenly appearance and lack of charisma. Not saying it's fair.
posted by Slap Factory at 2:04 PM on February 20, 2007


Richardson seems an affable enough guy, but everytime his name is bandied about for President the Weh Ho Lee thing comes up. It's not clear to me what exactly his specific involvement in that affair was, but this at least indicates to me that he has made some pretty powerful enemies over the years, and I'm not sure he has the juice or the charisma to prevail against them.
posted by psmealey at 2:07 PM on February 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


My neo-con father in law (working for the state of N.M.) is all for Richardson being president, mainly because he is sick and tired of all the bullshit he has pulled being governor. At least it'll get him out of New Mexico.

He has credentials, he has a vision, why not?
posted by Balisong at 2:10 PM on February 20, 2007


richardson is a very viable candidate. problem is that, right now, viability isn't interesting to the media and doesn't sell papers or ads. obama and hiliary are going to sell more copy because obama is black and hiliary is a former first lady. they also have more name recognition.

richardson is going to need to build his campaign slowly. what would be more interesting would be to look at NON GOOGLE search results and look at who is raising the most money. anyone have access to those numbers? ;)
posted by Stynxno at 2:16 PM on February 20, 2007


He looks more like the man in Family Guy than a President.
posted by matthewr at 2:24 PM on February 20, 2007


As it's come to me, the problem is that he has "Clinton problems."

In English, he's a philanderer with a trail of women that will be easy pickings for the GOP spin machine.
posted by dw at 2:27 PM on February 20, 2007


Isn't there at last enough data to support the assertion that boozy philanderers by and large make better presidents than tee-totalling family men?
posted by psmealey at 2:35 PM on February 20, 2007 [1 favorite]



In English, he's a philanderer with a trail of women that will be easy pickings for the GOP spin machine.


Won't that be difficult in a year when most of the Republican candidates have the same sort of problem?
posted by drezdn at 2:39 PM on February 20, 2007


Three words:

Wen
Ho
Lee.

I certanly wouldn't vote for him. Anyway, most people think he's running for V.P.

Another important point is that people in DC have a lot more opportunity to schmooze with DC elites that decide the media narrative. And Edwards has been out all over the place meeting with activists. it's fair to say he's been campaigning for three years already. That’s why Edwards gets a lot of love in the blogsphere, but almost no press.
posted by delmoi at 2:41 PM on February 20, 2007


As it's come to me, the problem is that he has "Clinton problems."

And that's why clinton never got elected.
posted by delmoi at 2:42 PM on February 20, 2007


Isn't there at last enough data to support the assertion that boozy philanderers by and large make better presidents than tee-totalling family men?

Philanderers:
Jefferson
FDR
Harding
Clinton

Non-philanderers:
Wilson
Truman
Carter
Bush Jr

Still looks like a wash to me.
posted by dw at 2:44 PM on February 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


In English, he's a philanderer with a trail of women that will be easy pickings for the GOP spin machine.

Clinton's womanizing didn't stop him from being elected twice, and Clinton's wife arguably has as much baggage (as a candidate) than Richardson, because she was married to Bill Clinton (it was his philandering problem, but she shared in the financial scandals, etc.) Hillary Clinton is a polarizing figure - I voted for Bill Clinton twice, and I never liked (or trusted) her at all.

Knowing what I know right now about the (declared) candidates, Richardson is who I would vote for. My second choice among the declared candidates is Giuliani.

It's hard to believe that any United States Senator is going to be elected President - when was the last time that happened? I want somebody who actually has experience running something.
posted by JeffL at 2:45 PM on February 20, 2007


...make better presidents than tee-totalling family men?

The last teetotaling family man President we had was...Carter? Reagan had two wives (at the very least) and Bush is not only the opposite of teetotaling but a cokehead to boot.
posted by DU at 2:45 PM on February 20, 2007


Won't that be difficult in a year when most of the Republican candidates have the same sort of problem?

If it's Giuliani or McCain, yes. But if it's Romney, Brownback, or Huckabee, no.
posted by dw at 2:46 PM on February 20, 2007


Oh wait, Bush I maybe. Although I've heard stories about a gay sex ring--I'm sure that was just one bad apple party.
posted by DU at 2:46 PM on February 20, 2007


Romney, Mormon, number of wives <--you guys write your own joke with that stuff.
posted by DU at 2:47 PM on February 20, 2007


Bill Richardson is the future of america.. he's obese, and hispanic
posted by petsounds at 2:50 PM on February 20, 2007 [3 favorites]


Knowing what I know right now about the (declared) candidates, Richardson is who I would vote for. My second choice among the declared candidates is Giuliani.

Um, why? That seems like a pretty crazy selection, what criteria could you possibly be using that would rate richardson first and giuliani second?
posted by delmoi at 2:52 PM on February 20, 2007


Clinton's womanizing didn't stop him from being elected twice

Yes, though Perot helped a lot the first time out. And the endless fishing expeditions dragged on the Democratic Party as a whole for most of his term. Not saying that Clinton wasn't a great president, it's just that the scandals gave Rush Limbaugh and Ken Starr jobs.

It's hard to believe that any United States Senator is going to be elected President - when was the last time that happened?

Some guy named Kennedy. And the guy that came after him, Ellbee Jay or something, he was a Senator.
posted by dw at 2:53 PM on February 20, 2007


Some guy named Kennedy. And the guy that came after him, Ellbee Jay or something, he was a Senator.

That's my point - Kennedy was elected more than 47 years ago. Johnson was VP (not a Senator) when he was elected in 1964 (43 years ago).
posted by JeffL at 2:58 PM on February 20, 2007


I like Richardson... I don't think we should count him out just yet.
posted by specialk420 at 3:01 PM on February 20, 2007


Um, why? That seems like a pretty crazy selection, what criteria could you possibly be using that would rate richardson first and giuliani second?

Richardson: Experience in Congress, experience in foreign affairs, cabinet member, Governor.

I just like him more than any of the other Democrats running (that might change if Gore decided to run again, however)

Giuliani: If I'm going to vote for a Republican, it's this one - socially liberal/moderate, fiscally conservative.

I would certainly vote for Giuliani over Hillary Clinton, if it came to that. Who really knows what she believes in / would do if elected? My gut feeling is there's no way she can win in the general election, anyway.
posted by JeffL at 3:13 PM on February 20, 2007


Philanderer, maybe, but where do these accusations of womanizing come from? I've followed Richardson for quite some time and I don't ever remember hearing anything about that. According to his website he's been married to his high school sweetheart for 33 years.

It seems to me womanizing charges come as part of the unfair label of him being Clinton like. I'm not sure that in reality they are very much alike other than being pleated pant wearing Democrat governors of poor states who are generally affable and enjoy cheeseburgers.
posted by Dr. Lurker at 3:20 PM on February 20, 2007


That's my point - Kennedy was elected more than 47 years ago. Johnson was VP (not a Senator) when he was elected in 1964 (43 years ago).

Um... you know how often they elect presidents, right? I mean, yes, it's been a while, but surely it's not Totally Unthinkable that someone could be elected who doesn't especially resemble one of the seven people who have been president since Johnson.
posted by moss at 3:28 PM on February 20, 2007


So far, my preference among the Democrats. Thanks for posting.
posted by theora55 at 3:38 PM on February 20, 2007


Philanderer, maybe, but where do these accusations of womanizing come from?

I don't think it's so much a womanizing issue as a sexual harrassment issue.
posted by EarBucket at 3:40 PM on February 20, 2007


Giuliani: If I'm going to vote for a Republican, it's this one - socially liberal/moderate, fiscally conservative.

With all due respect, JeffL, I don't see how anyone can still accept Giuliani on those terms ("socially liberal/moderate") after the shameful right wing cock-gobbling he did in the run up to and at the republican national convention in 2004. Rudy has no principles that he wouldn't negotiate away to get a better seat at the table. He's got about as much credibility as John McCain.

Also, where do you get his fiscal conservatism from? 911 didn't help, to be sure, but Bloomberg has had to do a lot of cleanup of the overspending that happened on Rudy's watch.

Vote Giuliani 2008: The excessive force and torture candidate.
posted by psmealey at 3:43 PM on February 20, 2007


He'll be picked for VP at best.
posted by zardoz at 3:56 PM on February 20, 2007


Giuliani: If I'm going to vote for a Republican, it's this one - socially liberal/moderate, fiscally conservative.

But what makes you think voting for him would promote socially liberal policy? Prancing around in a dress doesn't mean he's not going to throw real gays under the bus. He's already said that he planed on nominating right wing judges like Scalia and Alito if he gets the chance. Other then his image what socially moderate policies is he even promoting?
posted by delmoi at 4:01 PM on February 20, 2007


I wouldn't count 'Big Bill' out of the race just yet, it's still a long way between the cup and the lip.
posted by taosbat at 4:12 PM on February 20, 2007


Just consider the bare fact that he's the popular, second-term governor of a swing state -- you know, the sort of person who back in the day used to win presidential elections.

What the hell is Matt smoking? Are Arkansas, California, or Texas "swing states"? Richardson isn't President material. I'd love to see him in the Executive Branch. But his spot on the President list is somewhere just north of Joe Biden. I'm baffled as to how someone as smart as Matt -- who even manages to discuss Biden at length in this article -- would even waste page space on this.

Next, please. Bill Richardson is not, and never will be, the least bit interesting.
posted by spiderwire at 4:19 PM on February 20, 2007


Richardson is a smart guy. He's also a shlub. Shlubs don't make for good POTUS material.

VP maybe. The Southwest is increasingly important.
posted by bardic at 4:39 PM on February 20, 2007


moss: Um... you know how often they elect presidents, right? I mean, yes, it's been a while, but surely it's not Totally Unthinkable that someone could be elected who doesn't especially resemble one of the seven people who have been president since Johnson.

Yes, I know how often... other than Kennedy, I believe only one other sitting U.S. Senator has been elected President - Harding, and that was 40 years before Kennedy.

Of course, anything is possible, and the conventional wisdom regarding the difficulty of the Senator-to-President job change could be wrong this time... But there is a rationale for the conventional wisdom: The difficulty a Senator has defending his voting record (i.e., Kerry's lame attempts to defend his "flip flops" in the 2004 election)...

Putting aside the historical record, I suppose I just believe that someone who has been the chief executive of a state (or even mayor of one of the largest cities in the world) is more qualified to be Chief Executive than a lawmaker. (Before you snark, I believe that the incompetent GW Bush is the exception that proves this rule :)
posted by JeffL at 4:43 PM on February 20, 2007


slap factory got it in one.
posted by empath at 4:58 PM on February 20, 2007


Philanderer, maybe, but where do these accusations of womanizing come from?

Well, the wife told me, and she heard it from the liberal blogs. Though I'm wondering if she's secretly reading Insight magazine at work and not telling me.
posted by dw at 5:25 PM on February 20, 2007


I think Biden is the most qualified among the lot; too bad he makes for an awful, awful candidate.

Richardson is good on paper, but he too makes for a lackluster candidate. He's certainly qualified, and would much rather see him than Senator Clinton or (at this point, at least) Obama be president. But if qualifications mattered too much Bush Sr. would have gotten the GOP nomination in '80, McCain the nomination in 2000, and the last to general elections would have gone the other way.
posted by spaltavian at 6:42 PM on February 20, 2007


"the wife"?
posted by specialk420 at 6:51 PM on February 20, 2007


Spaltavian: What makes continuous service in the United States Senate from a preternaturally young age such a strong qualification? I am trying not to snark, but most of the long-time Senators I read about are among the individuals I would least want making executive decisions.

Sure, Senator Biden had the foresight to focus his attention on committees that people associate with executive issues -- the judiciary, foreign affairs -- but being surrounded for 20+ years by young adoring sycophants and having an unlimited right to hear oneself speak on the floor of the Congress hardly seems to qualify him any more than a Senator who focused on more pedestrian, bring-home-the-bacon committees. I just don't get it.
posted by Slap Factory at 7:17 PM on February 20, 2007


fat, fat, fat. nuff said.
posted by SkinnerSan at 7:54 PM on February 20, 2007


"the wife"?

Yes, "the wife." Or "Mrs. Wife." She refers to me as "the husband" or "Mr. Husband." Because we're ironic and weird that way.
posted by dw at 8:16 PM on February 20, 2007


Bill Richardson is the future of america.. he's obese, and hispanic
posted by petsounds at 2:50 PM PST on February 20 [+]
[!]


I'm hispanic, and obese, and I lamao!

In all seriousness, though, I hope his candidacy can go somewhere. I'd tolerate an Edwards/Richardson ticket, or the other way around.
posted by lysdexic at 8:39 PM on February 20, 2007


Yeah, ok, that was lmao

stoopid fingers.
posted by lysdexic at 8:40 PM on February 20, 2007


Wes Clark will run. He's been mostly right on Iraq, is from Arkansas, was a general, is good looking, etc..

Hillary's performance post 9/11 has been shameful.

Obama will never ever win the general election.
posted by joseppi7 at 11:26 PM on February 20, 2007


Obama will never ever win the general election.

Sorry if this is a de-rail, but I'm assuming you base this on his race. I'm curious why you think an Obama presidency is completely out of the question. To help bring it back (slightly) on-topic: if the issue is his race, do you (and others here) really think that the sort of folks who would "never ever" vote for a black American presidential candidate would still seriously consider voting for one of Hispanic descent?
posted by joe lisboa at 12:15 AM on February 21, 2007


I'm hardly on the Obama bandwagon (I'm leaning Edwards at this point, and agree that Edwards/Richardson would be a strong ticket), but I think the reason he's getting so much media play is precisely because he could win, and would arguably make a much stronger general election candidate than Hillary. The Republican machine is scared of him.

I mean, it's not as if Zombie Reagan is going to be winning the Republican side of things. McCain is already a bust. Romney's Mormonism is going to be a huge problem with Evangelicals and Southern Baptists, as are the many clips of him from years ago saying he supported abortion rights. Giuliani looks good now, but wait until his ex-wife holds her first press conference.

And all the while, Sam Brownback will be yelling "homo-lover" at all three of them. Good times.
posted by bardic at 5:49 AM on February 21, 2007


... do you (and others here) really think that the sort of folks who would "never ever" vote for a black American presidential candidate would still seriously consider voting for one of Hispanic descent?

Or for that matter, a democrat.
posted by SteveInMaine at 6:01 AM on February 21, 2007


Excuse me? Credentials? Currently the presidency is mainly about being popular. Bush has horrible credentials, but won twice, Regan's credential's where poor. Hell, Obama's credentials are not too great and he is a front runner receiving rock star treatment. If we elected people to high office primarily on the basis of credentials we'd have to start being more inclusive to large sections of the population that don't stand a freaking chance of being elected because of the "charisma" thing. We do not live in a meritocracy, it's all one huge high school popularity contest, only the winners can seriously fuck with more people.
posted by edgeways at 11:35 AM on February 21, 2007


I'm totally impressed by Edwards' jawline -- seriously, he's crazily handsome, even more than in '04 -- but I think Richardson is likable enough. that old anti Kerry/Gore/Hillary criticism that they're too aloof and don't look like people you'd go out to have a beer with, well, I'd totally go have a beer with Richardson, he looks like a fun guy.

and I bet he knows some badass little barbecue place, too.
posted by matteo at 1:28 PM on February 21, 2007


Living in New Mexico, the red region, and seeing what a pathetic place it is in regards to education, civil planning, and just basic comfort of living - I can't help but have a grudge against Richardson.

Went to Albuquerque a couple weeks ago, and the place was a pit.

I was laid off the first of the year, and they're still fucking me around with unemployment.

Richardson has name recognition, but as I see it, he hasn't done much of anything to brag about other than promoting Bill Richardson.

Green Party Liberal signing off.
posted by rougy at 4:35 PM on February 21, 2007


He's experienced, but the womanizing/sexist thing is offputting, and he has very little oomph to him. He kinda always seems a little sedated and poohbear-like. (Apparently he's been very strong on gay issues--a rarity this election season)

Maybe he should be Secy of State in whoever's administration? Or some Cabinet post?
posted by amberglow at 8:46 PM on February 21, 2007


Edwards is still my #1 so far.

There was an AFSCME forum in Nevada today with everyone except Obama
posted by amberglow at 8:48 PM on February 21, 2007


meanwhile, anyone but Hillary is not too bad.
posted by amberglow at 8:50 PM on February 21, 2007


It's pretty clear to me that the white male vote that swings elections is inherently racist and misogynist. Maybe in 50 years.
posted by joseppi7 at 9:40 PM on February 21, 2007


It's really not that clear at all, especially if you're talking about Democrats and Democratic primary voters, which all these candidates are. I think the vast majority are judging all these people as individuals first--and by race, religion, and gender second.
posted by amberglow at 4:22 PM on February 22, 2007


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