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A Tornadic, Yet Fun Night with Gov. Bill Richardson


by: Todd Hill

Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 10:41 AM CDT


I had the opportunity to attend a majority Republican fundraiser, with some Democrats too, for New Mexico Governor and Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Richardson in Arlington Friday night.  The minimum to get into this event was $500, so I have a good friend with the Mid-Cities Democrats to thank for getting me in, and I'm really glad that she did because I walk away highly impressed. 

As mentioned above, this was a majority Republican fundraiser; I never really figured that out even though I was getting odd stares with my Mid-Cities Democrats badge and my donkey pin on my coat.  What gave it away was first, the host actually said so, and second former congressman Barry Goldwater Jr. was in attendance.  Shows you the bi-partisan appeal that Richardson has. 

I was the first to step in front and get face time with Governor Richardson as he entered the marbled entrance of this gorgeous, gated, secured, and secluded home in North Arlington.  A very tall man, generally handsome, very charismatic, fluent in Spanish, knows how to work a room like a real pro, very self-deprecating, and a genuinely nice fellow.  He took a picture with me and signed two books without a grimace like most politicians do.  He looked groggy having come back from North Korea and arriving in Santa Fe at 4am Friday morning, but outside of that he was very willing to do whatever was asked.  Might have something to do with the minimum donations of $500 though.

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Shortly after the governor arrived tornado sirens went off and the host of the fundraiser asked us to move to his storm shelter.  So there I was following the host, practically leading by hand Gov. Bill Richardson to the storm shelter as he was standing next to me when the order came through.  Let me paint the picture of this storm shelter folks because if you are going to be hit by a tornado let it happen as you relax in the confines of this secure establishment.  We were led downstairs to a marble floored, plush furniture filled, antique desk decorated, wall to ceiling fireplace room, which overlooked a gorgeous view of the pool currently being hammered by hail and falling branches.  As everyone arrived downstairs the owner sealed the room with storm shutters so we were ignorant of the monsoon taking place from that point forward.  To my right was a full bar, a little farther back behind me was a guest bedroom, behind the bar was a full kitchen complete with a wine cellar.  Considering there was no more then 25 at this event, I felt comfortable knowing if I were to die from a tornado at this point how cool it was that I'm with a Democratic presidential candidate, surrounded by an abundance of liquor, and all the food I could ever want.  The downside was it was also a room full of Republicans, so indeed a precious balance of dying happy and dying with political enemies.

Lets talk substance now.  Richardson focused a lot on his trip to North Korea, and claims news will come out Monday of deals made.  He mentioned it was a bi-partisan trip, sanctioned by White House blessing, to gauge where North Korea was in dismantling their nuclear program per the February agreement all signed on to.  I wondered why he went, why did the White House allow Richardson, a candidate for president, to go to Korea?  Richardson replied, "Kim Jong Il likes me for some reason, he wont talk to anyone but Richardson."  So the White House, eager to demonstrate they are doing something with North Korea, felt it was a win-win so long as it was bi-partisan.  Richardson was joined by former Veterans Affairs secretary Anthony Principi and other Republicans too, but Richardson did most of the talking.  He claims to have won the release of the remains of 6 U.S. soldiers from the Korean War, noting that North Korea still holds the remains of over 8100 young men from that conflict.  Another 10 are likely to come, as a show of good faith by the North Koreans.  Needless to say, Bill Richardson probably has the best foreign-policy credentials of any candidate in the race.  Additional details to come Monday as to Richardson's trip to North Korea.

Moving from foreign policy Richardson struck a theme of being "practical, pragmatic, and patriotic."  He struck that chord frequently and often.  He noted numerous times that he was a pro-business moderate Democrat who was running in the center and would not be swayed.  He said he will not be liberalized by Iowa or New Hampshire, and instead, is betting on states like Texas, with our likely move to February 5, as a delegate grab which will keep him in top tier contention.  Expect to see him traveling our state more often then any other, for money no less, but taking advantage of the over 40% Hispanic population too in the hopes they get out and vote for him.

Final thoughts:  Out of all the candidates thus far, I've had a chance to meet personally John Edwards, whom I really like, and Barack Obama back in July of '06 in Washington DC, who I thought was very stale, disinterested in speaking to our group, and inaccessible.  I've seen the others on television.  But I came away highly impressed by Bill Richardson.  He exudes confidence, his experience is vast, he has a firm grasp on the issues, possesses a proven track record as governor, and a candidness about him that is easy to like.  Him being governor of a swing state, and considering Americans love to nominate governors are good for him, but also being Hispanic, well credentialed, and able to continue fundraising competitively are good factors too.  He has a deserving shot at the nomination.

Note:  Bill Richardson will be on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" on Sunday so check him out for yourself. 



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Did he do a Democratic fundraiser too? (0.00 / 0)


Yes (0.00 / 0)
He had a second fundraiser at the Gaylord Resort in Grapevine.  Minimum entry to that was $2300

Todd

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi


[ Parent ]
Really? (0.00 / 0)
So, he has charisma, works a room well, and is liked by third world dictators.  Not the most convincing list of credentials.  What is more convincing is that he attends Republican fund raisers.  I am convinced that I will not support him.  You see politicians must answer to those from whom they take money.  You seemed to let fade that question as to why they would do this.  Let's look at some of the reasons that this might be.  It could be for the most Republican reason of all - because his influence is easily bought.  It could be because they want to support a candidate that cannot win in the general election.  Perhaps they think that he is more likely than other candidates to attack other Democrats when things get tough in the primaries.

It's great that you got your (or someone's) moneys worth in a posh estate with a storm cellar better furnished than my house while rubbing elbows with rich Republicans who want to hear that a Democratic candidate "will not be liberalized by Iowa or New Hampshire."  Interestingly, I too want Democrats that will not be liberalized by Iowa and New Hampshire.  I hope for Democrats who will liberalize Iowa and New Hampshire.  I would like a candidate that would have more integrity than to meet with Republican fundraisers and who would tax that storm cellar into oblivion. 


Please...Give me a break (0.00 / 0)
You don't think any other candidate is receiving money from Republicans?  Not only that, but having fundraisers with Republicans in attendance?  You don't seem to understand the concept of winning, which means it's going to take Republicans as much as Democrats and Independents for any candidate to succeed.  If you want Richardson to come through your town and have an event so he can hear from you and others I'm sure his campaign would love to work with you in organizing that. 

For the record, I live in a one-bedroom efficiency apartment with my partner and a cat.  We rub elbows no matter what room we are in.  The feel sorry for me tone you convey because you don't own a big ole' home as the one I visited is pointless to the discussion here.  That was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and I grabbed it.  When things like that come around I don't sit and ponder I go for the ride.  It's a memory I won't forget. 

By the way there were Democrats in attendance mind you, and everyone got along just fine.  Why?  Because everyone had general interest in Bill Richardson and what he has to say.  I suggest you don't cherry-pick points of the post to convey your negativity and instead do a little research into what Richardson has to offer as a candidate.

TMH 

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi


[ Parent ]
Oh Please (0.00 / 0)
Tax that storm cellar into oblivion?

So rich people shouldn't have tornado shelters?

Do you really think that Edwards, Obama, et al would really tax that tornado shelter into oblivion?

You obviously don't get it... any one of the major Democratic candidates would do this fundraiser in a heartbeat.


[ Parent ]
I'm Not Sure (0.00 / 0)
If other candidates would attend a fundraiser organized by Republicans, which is quite different than taking money from the occasional Republican.  I gladly work with Republicans all the time on political issues.  One does not need to sell their soul - a Republican organized fundraising dinner does not come without strings - to reach out to crossover voters. 

Todd, I hope that this was not a once in a lifetime opportunity for you.  I hope that, in time, you will have many such opportunities and that in the future you might not be so start-struck by such an event.

As for "negativity," may it always stand against injustice.  Was Jesus negative when he stood up to the moneychangers?  Wasn't Gandhi a naysayer when he stood up to the British? As were the American colonists.  Rosa Parks was ever so negative when she refused to sit in the back of the bus.  And Steven Biko was killed because he was so negative about apartheid.  I am not trying to put myself in such hallowed company but I do hope that you will consider the power of negativity the next time you think to wield that label.  I fear the day when Democrats avoid such negativity and become giddy about big money politics and  their place in it.

Jose, I have no objections to the rich having shelter from the storm.  I do find the apparent opulence of that shelter to be in bad taste.  People should be able to aspire to any level of ostentatious affluence that they wish.  But in a world where poor children are neglected and so many mentally ill are homeless and uncared for, I wish for a higher level of state sponsored compassion.  So let me take back what I said and change that to, I hope for a candidate that would tax that storm cellar into a more humane existence.


[ Parent ]
I wasn't star struck by the event... (0.00 / 0)
I was blown away by the candidate.  I suppose I had lower expectations, but walked away highly impressed with Bill Richardson.

And, I didn't mention in my blog, but Richardson's staff had obviously done their homework on the people in attendance.  the governor knew my background as an activist and grassroots leader for the Mid-Cities Democrats and the Tarrant County Young Democrats.  He mentioned both organzations, and my title with both, before we went into any in-depth conversations.  That made things more personable and certainly impressed me as well. 

I've attended fundraisers and events for Wesley Clark, John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton.  Certainly I've had the opportunity to be "star-struck" by higher tier individuals then Bill Richardson.

TMH

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi


[ Parent ]
There is no way (0.00 / 0)
Clinton, Edwards or Obama would have a fundraiser with only Republicans at this point in the primary race

[ Parent ]
That's very true (0.00 / 0)
And I don't think Bill Richardson would host a fundraiser with only Republicans at this point in the race either.

But, as reported by Todd Hill, this was a majority Republican fundraiser... not a only Republican fundraiser.


[ Parent ]
it was hosted (0.00 / 0)
by a Republican and attended by Barry Goldwater's son!

I like Richardson but I won't try to hide the fact that I am uncomfortable with him doing this.

And if you think adding the word "majority" before it makes it better than I am confused.


[ Parent ]
Its not necessarily great (0.00 / 0)
But I would not be surprised at all if out of Edwards/Obama/Clinton, at least one of them has gone to a fundraiser hosted by someone with a decent amount of Republican tendencies.

I wouldn't be surprised if the host offered to host the fundraiser as opposed to vis-versa, though.  And if that is the case, I would have disliked more if Richarson said no.

And its notable that he actually did have a Democratic fundraiser (with more money) while in the area.

"Let us tenderly and kindly cherish therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write."  -  John Adams


[ Parent ]
Prove it (0.00 / 0)
Find a case in which Obama, Clinton or Edwards attended a fundraiser that was hosted by a Republican and where the majority of those in attendance were Republicans.


[ Parent ]
Hold on... (0.00 / 0)
David, I think you are blowing this way out of proportion. 

First of all, the Republican host offered to have the fundraiser for Bill Richardson and I don't see anything wrong with that.  Every candidate needs all the money they can get, especially considering Richardson is listed as a "2nd tier" candidate.  Not to mention,  the fundraiser was held in Tarrant County, which is the 2nd most Republican county in the United States behind only Orange County, CA. 

Second, you will be hard pressed to find "evidence" supporting Obama, Clinton, or any other candidate attending a fundraiser hosted by a Republican.  Therefore that makes your challenge hollow because no one will be able to do that.  You wouldn't have even known about this one with Richardson had I not been in attendance.  So unless someone attends a fundraiser for one of the other candidates, finds out it is hosted by Republicans, then reports it here, there will be no evidence to demonstrate, even though we know it is happening.

I simply believe this demonstrates Richardson's bi-partisan appeal.  The host of the fundraiser is good friends with Barry Goldwater Jr., and Richardson is apparently good friends with Goldwater from when they worked together in Congress.  I believe that was the mutual connection that developed this fundraiser.

I'm by no means a supporter of Bill Richardson, or any candidate, but I believe it is an unfair charge to cripple the man for raising money from a majority-Republican fundraiser attended by a few Democrats.

Todd 

 

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi


[ Parent ]
You say (0.00 / 0)
"...I believe it is an unfair charge to cripple the man for raising money from a majority-Republican fundraiser attended by a few Democrats."

For god sakes why?  There is a huge difference in working with Republicans and making yourself beholden to them.  There is also an issue of allowing Republicans to have influence in the election of Democrats.  Why do you think that it is the right of Bill Richardson to line up at the Republican trough, but it is not appropriate for concerned voters to question that strategy?

Our democracy is being bought and paid for by the moneyed elite.  The vast majority of campaigning is about raising money rather than getting out the vote.  This means that the wealthy and corporate interests have just more influence but more fluid access to the power that is intended to go to the people.

There are many here who seem content to discount this as the reality of politics and disregard those of us who see a problem with this as idealists who should live in a cave.  By this reckoning neither should we fight cancer, poverty or racism. 

When it gets to the point that Democrats can disregard, or worse yet, defend candidates in the party of the people who suck up to rich Republican fundraisers it really does become difficult to distinguish between the two political monopolies.  I am a progressive first and a Democrat second. 
 


[ Parent ]
Cherry-picking (0.00 / 0)
Yet again, cherry-picking. 

It is unbelievable to the extent Richardson is being torn apart because of a fundraiser with no more then 20 Republicans, with about 4-5 Democrats, as now beholden to the Republican Party.  That is way too dramatic. 

Are you aware there are Republicans for Edwards groups?  Republicans for Obama groups?  You don't think they are doing bundle fundraising, maybe headlining them, for these candidates? 

So what you are essentially saying is to hell with bi-partisanship, Democratic candidates should deny money if it comes from a Republican, and should they get elected flip the bird to their political opponents?

I too am progressive first and Democrat second, but if as a candidate you appeal across all Party affiliations, cultures, races, creeds, genders, and sexual orientations, then I say that makes you a very strong and attractive candidate.  Makes me think that person is suitable for governing because they know how to balance the Will of the majority with the Will of the minority.

As I've stated before, I'm no champion of Richardson or any candidate, but I do believe it's an unfair charge to wave him off because of receiving money from Republicans. 

I do appreciate your thoughts and feelings though on this subject.  Constructive debate is a good thing.

TMH 

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi


[ Parent ]
Its not a huge deal (0.00 / 0)
but the assertion that Clinton, Obama and Edwards are doing it is pretty flawed.


[ Parent ]
bologne (0.00 / 0)
They are doing it too and you know it.  This is the nature of politics. 

Hillary Clinton attended a fundraiser for her Senate re-election campaign headlined by Rupert Murdoch.  That same re-election campaign war chest where she transferred $10 mill to her presidential campaign. 

TMH

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi


[ Parent ]
No (0.00 / 0)
its really not.

I know for a fact that, while in Texas, Hillary Clinton did not attend any fundraisers hosted by Republicans.

And as we have established before, most of us don't think there is anything wrong with having Republican fundraisers during the general election after the primary (Hillary's Murdoch fundraiser was held in late May 2006).

I would encourage you to try to get in touch with the campaigns and see what they have to say about it.


[ Parent ]
Actually... (0.00 / 0)
I would suggest you contact them.  It doesn't bother me a bit and I'm not the one who raised concerns over it. 

And why would it be ok to have a Republican fundraiser in a General Election? To me, that would be worse then the primary.  You are doing what you can to find money anywhere possible in the primary, whereas the General Election the scope is much smaller and more defined.  There are two clear candidates, whereas here there are 7 on our side and a million on the other.

By the encouragement of Hugh Stearns I'm actually going to open this dialogue into a bigger venue.  I think it has all been very constructive and civil.  It's a good discussion to have and I appreciate your participation in it.

TMH

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi


[ Parent ]
I appreciate (0.00 / 0)
your participation as well.

I guess what I am trying to figure out is why were these Republicans supporting Richardson?

I happen to like Richardson and am just a little curious as to why Rs would want to give him $$$.


[ Parent ]
That's a pretty tough standard (0.00 / 0)
It actually eliminates all current and all possible future candidates.  Why don't you go live in a cave, where life is pure and ideology remains intact?

[ Parent ]
Are you suggesting (0.00 / 0)
That by not supporting the current democracy-for-sale status quo that one should withdraw or is not welcome? 

[ Parent ]
You're welcome, just wasting your time (0.00 / 0)
I welcome all who stay cool when they debate.  But you are asking for a standard that has never been met in the U.S., and for which there is no sign of change.  Your standard literally rules out all candidates, who must take their donations where they can.  I would prefer mandatory public financing, but it appears to be unconsitutional, so what can we do?

In Houston, I see that ultra-liberal City Council member Peter Brown has given money to both Obama and McCain.  What do you make of that?

The vast majority of time that a candidate takes money from a high-dollar donor, it is not because the donor expects a favor per se:  it is because the donor already knows that the candidate is sympatico.  That is a major difference.  Contributions are no more payoffs than marriage is prostitution.


[ Parent ]
Did Richardson's support for AG Al Gonzalez come up? (0.00 / 0)
I was disturbed by Richardson's answers in this interview:

Tavis:  It occurs to me now, listening to you talk about your friend who you know, Mr. Gonzalez, it draws a stark contrast between-I haven't checked where all the other candidates are, but I know Obama is on record very clearly saying Gonzalez should step down. I suspect other Democrats running for president are maybe saying the same thing. That's a contrast between you and others on whether or not this guy should step down.

Richardson: That's right. I do believe that it's up to a president to make those decisions about Cabinet members. Obviously, Alberto's very damaged, and he's gotta be frank and testify and do what has to happen. But I think that's up to the president.

Tavis: So you would not call for his stepping down right now.

Richardson: No, no. And you know what? Part of it maybe is because he's the highest-ranking Hispanic ever.

Tavis: But wrongdoing is wrongdoing, though. If he did wrong.

Richardson: Well, I think it's more a lack of attention, lack of a plan, lack of being thorough.

http://www.pbs.org/k...


No (0.00 / 0)
It didn't come up, but that is indeed rather disturbing. 

Gonzalez should be fired, regardless of his ethnicity.

TMH

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi


[ Parent ]
Very disturbing... (0.00 / 0)
He in essence is saying that no matter what Al Gonzales does, since he's an Hispanic, it doesn't matter. Substitute Republican for Hispanic, or Democrat for Hispanic, and you see where the problem is.

Who is Bill Richardson?  Just another Democrat with Republicans in his back pocket. How do you know which pocket they're in? It's the one that has more money in it.

Republicans for Democrats. Democrats for Republicans. Either way it's usually special interests for special interests.


[ Parent ]
Boston Convention (0.00 / 0)
Bill Richardson was the biggest name to attend the Texas Delegation Breakfasts at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He was only speaker who hung around after speaking for a meet and greet.

I remember that (0.00 / 0)
It was the only morning breakfast that I actually attended for our delegation. I think Soechting was trying to hunt me down- in any case, Richardson pointed me out in the room because he was talking about young people in politics, and i was the youngest in the delgeation, blah blah blah. I've always liked Richardson, he's a cool guy and very real. Of course, we have a pethora of good candidates this time, but strategically, Richardson would be wise to invest time and effort in Texas. He could easily come away with many delegates which would pair with any momentum he pics up if he worked Nevada as well. Who knows!

[ Parent ]
Now that was a (0.00 / 0)
very exceptional event report, Todd. Thank you. I think I saw a tornado myself last night a little further southwest of you. It didn't make it to the ground, fortunately.

So, Republicans (including Arizona's former congressman Barry Goldwater, Jr., wow!) and some Democrats came together to raise money and meet Bill Richardson in Arlington and a tornado strikes not far from there. Some kind of tornado-producing energy in that kind of event happening in Texas, maybe. ;)

I wonder if these small gatherings of Republicans meeting Democratic Party presidential candidates are happening all over our state? That would be nice, but I do worry about more tornadoes.

I wondered why he went, why did the White House allow Richardson, a candidate for president, to go to Korea?  Richardson replied, "Kim Jong Il likes me for some reason, he wont talk to anyone but Richardson."  So the White House, eager to demonstrate they are doing something with North Korea, felt it was a win-win so long as it was bi-partisan.

That was a good question. :) I hope we hear more about Richardson's talks with Kim Jong Il tomorrow with George Stephanopoulos.


It's still my opinion.. (0.00 / 0)
the guy will be one hell of a running mate for the winner. 

Yes, he's definitely a centrist and a DLC lackey, but his foreign policy credentials are second to none (well, maybe Colin Powell, but I don't see him running as a Dem.)  All of the frontrunners right now lack strong foreign policy experience, and 2008 will be a foreign policy election.

Add to it his ability to bring out the Hispanic vote and to turn the Southwest and possibly Mountain West blue, I'm all for him, regardless of whether he's taking money from Republicans.  That's a little less money that they'll be able to give to their candidate, right?


Wrong (0.00 / 0)
"That's a little less money that they'll be able to give to their candidate, right?"

You need to take a look at Bob Perry. He buys both. He just pays less for Democrats.

Some apparently are still taken in by that "will work well with the Republicans" crap. Sylvester Turner is a prime example of how well Democrats work with Republicans.

We need people who won't work well with Republicans. Particularly now that the Democrats control Congress. And hopefully will control Congress in 2009.


[ Parent ]
Secretary of State over Veep (0.00 / 0)
Personally, I support Bill Richardson.  There are a few things that he says that I disagree with and other things that I am skeptical about, but otherwise he is my number one choice.

Obama is a close second, and the main reason that Richardson is first is his foreign policy credentials.  Those would be much more useful as Secretary of State than as Veep.  Granted, he would be an excellent Veep, too-he's great at getting votes.  But others can do that, too.

"Let us tenderly and kindly cherish therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write."  -  John Adams


[ Parent ]
I would like to see (0.00 / 0)
Richard Holbrooke as Secretary of State. Richardson's greatest service would have been to run for the Senate next year but he is a welcome part of the presidential field and if he somehow gets the nomination I would happily volunteer and vote for him.

[ Parent ]
I think it is encouraging (0.00 / 0)
that Republicans are listening and contributing to a Democratic presidential candidate.  It proves that there are some reasonable people, who have previously self-identified and voted as Republicans, who may be willing to vote for a centrist Democrat.  And, we are going to need some Republican voters, folks.  I welcome them.

Reasonable people of both parties need to work together to find answers to the many serious problems facing our country.  We are, right now, living in the dregs of what extreme, unthinking partisanship has wrought.  I, for one, am willing to listen to and work with reasonable people, no matter what their party affiliation, to find solutions. 

Our nettlesome task is to discover how to organize our strength into compelling power. - Martin Luther King Jr.


Right (0.00 / 0)
Firstly, money is money.  So we shouldn't pick on Richardson for taking the opportunity to get thousands of dollars, even if its not from people who would typically support his party.

If we can get the support of Republicans; all the better.  True, government is partisan.  But that doesn't mean that we can't work together.  In fact, it would be a lot better if we did more often.

"Let us tenderly and kindly cherish therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write."  -  John Adams


[ Parent ]
Richardson is my last choice for several reasons. (0.00 / 0)
For one reason, I cannot agree with Richardson's willingness to stand for AG Gonzalez and -- even if giving Gonzalez a pass was acceptable -- giving Gonzalez a pass based on race is just wrong:

Bill Richardson on Tavis Smiley March 21, 2007

  Tavis: Alberto Gonzalez happens to be a member of your community. Is this guy gonna survive? He's the first Hispanic to have that job.

  Richardson: Yeah, I know. I'm rooting for him, I like the guy, I know him. I hope he survives ....

  Tavis: It occurs to me now, listening to you talk about your friend who you know, Mr. Gonzalez, it draws a stark contrast between-I haven't checked where all the other candidates are, but I know Obama is on record very clearly saying Gonzalez should step down. I suspect other Democrats running for president are maybe saying the same thing. That's a contrast between you and others on whether or not this guy should step down.

  Richardson: That's right. I do believe that it's up to a president to make those decisions about Cabinet members. Obviously, Alberto's very damaged, and he's gotta be frank and testify and do what has to happen. But I think that's up to the president.

  Tavis: So you would not call for his stepping down right now.

  Richardson: No, no. And you know what? Part of it maybe is because he's the highest-ranking Hispanic ever.

Also, Richardson's voting record is horribly conservative:

From http://www.ontheissu...

Bill Richardson on Crime

* Mandatory jail time, especially for repeat offenders. (Oct 2002)
* Supports death penalty: zero tolerance for heinous crimes. (Oct 2002)
* Voted NO on maintaining right of habeus corpus in Death Penalty Appeals. (Mar 1996)
* Voted YES on making federal death penalty appeals harder. (Feb 1995)
* Voted NO on replacing death penalty with life imprisonment. (Apr 1994)

Bill Richardson on "Free" Trade

* NAFTA critically important for US as well as Mexico. (Nov 2005)
* Expand regional trade with Chihuahua. (Oct 2002)
* Supports NAFTA, GATT, & WTO. (Nov 1996)

Bill Richardson on Health Care

* Supports managed competition & medical savings accounts. (Nov 1996)

Bill Richardson on Immigration

* Declared state of emergency on Mexican border. (Nov 2006)
* Path to legalization if illegals pay taxes & learn English. (Nov 2006)
* Reduce immigration; no automatic citizenship for kids. (Nov 1996)

I like Richardson for Secretary of State, possibly, but he's far too conservative to be the Democratic nominee for President.

Richardson having fundraisers with Republicans does not lessen that impression.


I Haven't Made Any Decisions... (0.00 / 0)
But it seems to me that some campaigns are scared of Richardson/trying to destroy him.  My guess, if I had to make one, is Edwards.  He has the most to lose by the rise of Richardson (right now there are TWO first tier candidates and two insurgents... someone's gotta go) and Richardson threatens him in Nevada (a MUST win) and the rest of the Southwest.  Plus, knowing from the 2000 campaign their techniques (which I'm not opposed to at all, just noting) they'll launch little attacks ALL the time on blogs/letters to the editor/etc just hoping some of them stick and knowing none can be traced back to Mr. Optomistic.

If Richardson would climb into contention, it would hurt everyone but (0.00 / 0)
Hillary.  Hillary has the highest name identification, the most cash on hand, the most important Democratic supporter/fund raiser on board (her husband), and the biggest nationwide network. 

No matter how you shuffle the deck, Hillary is the front runner to beat.

If anyone is going to catch Hillary (Obama, Edwards, or any other candidate), he will have to consolidate the anyone-but-Hillary vote.  The more that vote remains split, the better Hillary's chances of capitalizing on her advantages and winning the nomination.

Richardson or Dodd or some other second tier candidate climbing into contention, or even another candidate entering the race late, benefits Hillary because that would further split the anyone-but-Hillary vote.  Correspondingly, further dividing the anyone-but-Hillary vote hurts Obama's chances of catching Hillary, Edwards's chances, and the chances of whoever else is in real contention for the nomination.


[ Parent ]
Disagree... (0.00 / 0)
Obama has shown he is every bit as viable as Hillary and his support seems to be far more sticky (Hillary voters are the ones that tend to move when Gore enters the race, they're not "in love" yet).  As far as money/supporters/network go, they're equal and/or Obama has a slight edge.  Obama's grassroots network is second to none.  His supporters are rabid and he's building up more big name supporters.  Money... see for yourself, have you looked at the financials?  They're neck and neck. 

Edwards is now fighting to expand beyond a base of trial lawyer support (I believe over 5 mil came directly from them with families probably doubling that... and I wouldn't be shocked if a TON of people maxed out).  He'll run a very good race, but he's clearly coming from further back in the pack than the two front runners (which is where he historically likes to be, so he's running his own race right now).  Richardson breaking away from the loser also rans would threaten his sprint to the finish and scare the bejesus out of him. 

Clearly, you're a Hillary fan.  Clearly your talking points tell you to say "She's got a huge lead" to put Obama down.  Clearly you all are scared.  The only person right now who's running a bad race IS Hillary, the rest of the field is performing up to their expectations.


[ Parent ]
I'm NOT a Hillary fan. To the contrary, I'm a fan of nominating a (0.00 / 0)
progressive candidate whether that's Obama, Edwards, Clark, Kucinich, or Dodd.

I hope we don't nominate a DLC-style centrist like Hillary, Richardson, or Biden.

I say Hillary is the front runner because of her institutional support within the party.  Here is some polling which shows that Hillary is leading in every state where there has been polling EXCEPT Obama's home state where he leads, Edwards's home state where he leads, and Richardson's state where he leads:

http://www.president...

As a caveat, I have seen many other polls where Edwards leads in Iowa.  http://www.angus-rei... http://washingtontim... http://politicalwire....  Still, I have not seen any polling where Obama leads in any state other than his home state of Illinois.

When I call Hillary the "front runner" I only mean it in the sense that she appears to be ahead in most polling from most states (30 of the 33 according to the link above, with the caveat that Edwards leads Iowa in most polls so perhaps 29 out of 33 states is more likely), cash on hand (31 million compared to Obama's 19.2 million and Edwards's 10.7 million according to the link below), and organization.  I sincerely hope Obama or Edwards or someone else more progressive beats her.

In terms of the percentages of donations from maxed-out donors, here are the percentages:

68% - Clinton
56% - Richardson
46% - Obama
38% - Edwards

http://www.cfinst.or...


[ Parent ]
if you mean "every bit as viable" in terms of $$ (0.00 / 0)
okay.

If you mean that he has just as good a chance of being the nominee as HC...I would have to see the evidence.

Obama was virtually unchallenged in his election to Senate.  I think we are seeing the evidence that he isn't ready from prime time with his handling of some personal real estate issues and repeated missteps (ref: the Imus deal).

I think it is only a matter of time before he has his version of the Dean Scream as he currently shares far more resemblence to Dean than to Clinton (Bill or Hill).

Please refer to KT's signature.


[ Parent ]
You could very well be correct... (0.00 / 0)
I meant in terms of grassroots network/money/institutional support.  And, note, I mentioned running ahead of the pack this early isn't neccesarily good strategy, as any fellow horseracing fan could tell you. 

Here's my assessment of the field:

Hillary: Pros-Has major party support, a great husband, money, the best staff and great name recognition.  Cons-Has horrible negatives that cannot be overcome with any amount of advertising, is the candidate of Karl Rove's dreams, has the party split with over half against her.

Obama: Pros-Momentum, money, compelling narrative, invokes positive feelings.  Cons-Questions about policy, will people vote for a black man in 2008?, potential of candidate collapse (I doubt it, but it could very well happen), weak staff.

Edwards: Pros-Blog support, trial lawyer cash, compelling personal narrative, amazing staff, good on issues.  Cons- Lost to debate against Cheney, could get lost in the Hillary/Obama fight, white man in the year of minorities, serious questions whether he can ever "close the deal," potentially too close to trial lawyers, already framed by media as too feminine (Coulter's gay comment, the jibjab, etc).

Richardson: Pros-Plays very well in Southwest, strong resume, foriegn policy experience, charismatic.  Cons-Who is this guy?, non-hispanic name nullifies some minority advantage, Show me the money... please?, seen by many as an also-ran.

Others: Should pretty much get out of the way at this point, they're not in it to win it, with the exception of Gore who I'm assuming is NOT running.


[ Parent ]
$400 hunny for a haircut (0.00 / 0)
Drudge had a report about Edwards spending $400 bones on a haircut.

Not a good way to start.  You can raise millions of dollars...can't you score a free haircut?

Please refer to KT's signature.


[ Parent ]
If I had a dime for every time Drudge was WRONG when attacking (0.00 / 0)
a Democrat, I could afford $400 haircuts.

[ Parent ]
LOL!!! (0.00 / 0)
So Hillary and Edwards both spend a lot on their hair! :)  At least you can say this for Richardson, it's painfully obvious he's never paid more than $10! :)

[ Parent ]
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