Posted by Damozel | And to think I initially supported Bill Richardson. James Carville gets it right:
Richardson stopped returning Mr. Clinton’s calls days ago, Mr. Clinton’s aides said. And as of Friday, Mr. Richardson said, he had yet to pick up the phone to tell Mr. Clinton of his decision.
The reaction of some of Mr. Clinton’s allies suggests that might have been a wise decision. “An act of betrayal...Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic,” Mr. Carville said, referring to Holy Week. (NYT)
Wait for it: any moment now, the segment of Obama's base consisting of Hillary-hating embittered Republicans and jerky-kneed O-bots will be attributing this statement by a "Clinton surrogate" to Hillary and arguing therefrom that she has claimed she is Jesus.
First let's consider Richardson's disloyalty.
It was a stinging rejection of her candidacy by a man who had served in two senior positions in President Bill Clinton’s administration, and who is one of the nation’s most prominent elected Hispanics. Mr. Richardson came back from vacation to announce his endorsement at a moment when Mrs. Clinton’s hopes of winning the Democratic nomination seem to be dimming....
In many ways, the decision by Mr. Richardson, a longtime political ally of the Clintons, was as much a tale about his relationship with them as it was about the course of Mr. Obama’s campaign.
Mr. Clinton had told his wife’s campaign that he had received several assurances from Mr. Richardson that he would not endorse Mr. Obama....
Mr. Clinton helped elevate Mr. Richardson to the national stage by naming him his energy secretary and ambassador to the United Nations. And Mr. Clinton left no doubt that he viewed Mr. Richardson’s support as important to his wife’s campaign: (NYT)
According to Richardson, his eventual conversation with Hillary was "heated," but according to Clinton's aides, Bill, at least, took it with a philosophical shrug.
Doubtless he said, as I'd like to say, who cares what Bill Richardson does?
Which is a question addressed by Jim Newell of Wonkette:
It's strange, sort of, that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson would endorse Barack Obama right now. True, Richardson is a psychotically ambitious career-builder who likes to keep his name in the papers. And someone like Richardson only sees an endorsement as a bargaining chip for an appointed position, because he loves nothing more than bragging about his resume. Job, jobs, jobs, look at all the jobs I've had, blah blah, make me President because of my jobs, so then I can get more new jobs. So what job did kindly Obama throw his way, and can Richardson's job experience help undecided voters trust Obama?...
The point is, no one cares about Bill Richardson, otherwise they would have voted for him.
On the other hand, there is this. This matters:
[H]e came close to doing what Mrs. Clinton’s advisers have increasingly feared some big-name Democrat would do as the battle for the nomination drags on: Urge Mrs. Clinton to step aside in the interest of party unity.
“I’m not going to advise any other candidate when to get in and out of the race,” Mr. Richardson said after appearing in Portland with Mr. Obama. “Senator Clinton has a right to stay in the race, but eventually we don’t want to go into the Democratic convention bloodied. This was another reason for my getting in and endorsing, the need to perhaps send a message that we need unity.” (NYT)
Of course, Bill Richardson is a "big-name Democrat" thanks in part, even in large part, to the Clintons.
But let's end on a note of ridicule rather than head-shaking disapproval over the capacity of the self-serving for ingratitude. In Bill Richardson Needs Directions for Living, Jim Newell writes:
Hmm, do you catch any trace of a smile on Bill Richardson's face in this photo? .... At some point in Richardson's endorsement speech...he was supposed to turn towards Obama and smile. We know this because the Obama campaign gave out copies of Richardson's speech to the press, but forgot to delete this stage direction: "[Turn toward Obama and smile]." Richardsonbot, fail.
[Emit sound of bitter laughter through gritted teeth]