Saturday, February 24, 2007

Where's Bill?

It's been an interesting week in politics.

Bill Richardson, whom WDW is still endorsing as the next POTUS, is finally starting to get some press coverage. The NY Times finally, at long last, ran a somewhat in-depth profile of the candidate yesterday, and ran another fairly good article today. Richardson also ran an op-ed piece in the Washington Post today, calling for diplomacy, not war, with Iran.

It's interesting that nearly every article written about Richardson notes that he's clearly the most experienced and qualified candidate, but the only reason he doesn't win more endorsements seems to be that his first name isn't Hillary or Barack.

Meanwhile, funny-named candidate Tom Vilsack dropped out of the race this week. "While I respect and understand Tom's decision," Richardson said in the customary, respectful press release, "He will be missed from the campaign. He is a good friend, and a man of integrity and tremendous ability" and so on.

Hillary, as expected, is getting shrill and will most likely self-destruct sooner or later on the long campaign ahead of her. Thursday, the Clinton campaign called on Mr. Obama to sever his ties to David Geffen and return the portion of the $1.3 million that Mr. Geffen helped raise on Tuesday at a reception in Beverly Hills. “While Senator Obama was denouncing slash-and-burn politics yesterday, his campaign’s finance chair was viciously and personally attacking Senator Clinton and her husband,” Clinton's campaign said in a statement.

The Obama campaign noted that it was “ironic that the Clintons had no problem with David Geffen” when he was “raising them $18 million and sleeping at their invitation in the Lincoln Bedroom.”

And what did David Geffen say that upset Hillary so much? He told Maureen Dowd that the Clintons lie “with such ease, it’s troubling,” that the Clinton political operation “is going to be very unpleasant and unattractive,” that Bill Clinton is a “reckless guy” who had not changed in the last six years, and that Hillary was too scripted.

Okay, so an American citizen exercised his constitutional right to freedom of speech and said that he did not like Mrs. Clinton as a presidential candidate. If Hillary can't take that, how is she going to react down the campaign trail when people start to call her marriage a sham, bring up Whitewater again, ask difficult questions about the death of Vince Foster, and really press her about her pro-war voting record in Congress? She won't last long, and this blogger, for one, won't miss her and her unpleasant and unattactive campaign on the trail one bit.
Meanwhile, over on the other side, Dick Cheney said Britain's decision to pull troops from Iraq is a good sign that fits in well with the strategy for stabilizing the country, prompting Obama to note that "Cheney said this. . . even as the administration is preparing to put 20,000 more of our young men and women in. Now, keep in mind, this is the same guy that said we'd be greeted as liberators, the same guy that said that we're in the last throes."

"When Dick Cheney says it's a good thing," he said, "You know that you've probably got some big problems."

But John McCain noted that Tony Blair sacrificed his political career over Iraq and, with candor unusual for a likely candidate, that he might be doing the same thing himself. Not that he's going to change his position on the war, however.

Yes, watching politics can be fun. Bill Richardson seems to be following a very savvy campaign strategy. Like a smart thoroughbred in a horse race, he's lagging back in the pack while the front runners tire themselves out in the long backstretch. “I’m not going to be competitive in that area with the top-tier candidates,” Richardson said. But come the final furlong, he should have fresh legs and be at the front of the pack.

"I’m going to have enough to win,” he said.

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