Thursday, May 10, 2007

WH 08:Gov. Richardson Goes All In

My basic take on the primary is that my heart wants Richardson because of his head, but my head says Obama because of his heart.

Gov. Bill Richardson is the best-qualified candidate to run for President in my lifetime. I suppose Bush 1 came close, which may be one reason why the resume argument isn’t gaining traction.

Richardson scores a ten in each of the gross categories important for a Presidential candidate: administrative, legislative and foreign policy. For another caveat, a more conservative observer might add business experience as an additional qualification and Richardson is pretty much a career government guy. Nonetheless, he has a record of experience and accomplishment in each area that is so overwhelming it’s just silly.

He’s the guy that I would choose to lead the country if it were up to me. And yet, he slogs in the single digit swamp, along with Biden, Dodd and the two protest candidates. Where I go next is informed by the conviction that Sen. Hillary Clinton simply cannot win the general election. Dems need to elect someone who is Nothillary, so I look to the leading Nothillary candidates. Of the two, Obama seems most appealing and therefore most electable.

So back to Richardson. Going into the first debate Gov. Richardson was down to his last two chances. Practically speaking, there is room in the media for one second-tier candidate to bust out a breakout performance at an early debate. That candidate was Mr. Yes, Joe Biden. His one-word response to the question about his gaffe-proneness was widely viewed as the best moment in the debate, got him onto Meet the Press and reminded everyone that he was running. Richardson’s performance was noteworthy only as a disappointment.

So now Richardson is left with the short stack and he’s pushing it all in. He has a series of ads running in Iowa that bang on the resume argument. The ads are brilliant. They not only highlight his extensive experience, they satirize somewhat the warped political calculus that is keeping him out of the top tier. Here they are back-to-back.

My guess from all this is that Richardson is down to the end of his stack literally as well as metaphorically. If the ads move polls in Iowa, he can go to funders and make the case that he’s electable if he has the resources. If he stays stuck in the mud, he spends down the chest, bows out and competes with Biden for Secretary of State if a Dem wins in '08.


Ryan said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels so strongly about Richardson.

Cee Jay said...

He is the most qualified without a doubt. My guess is that if Obama wins the nomination he might chose Richardson as his VP. That would be a smart move because it would give him what he lacks, experience on the ticket. On the otherhand, a Richardson Obama ticket would be even better because Obama is young enough to run for Pres. after Richardson does one or two terms in office.