Yesterday morning while eating breakfast, I listened to a podcast of the September 24th PBS NewsHour Vote 2008 interview with Democrat hopeful, Governor Bill Richardson. If you consider that the most important issues facing the U.S. are the War in Iraq, regaining the U.S.’s moral authority in the world, immigration, the U.S.’s dependence on foreign energy (and the environment), as well as balancing of the budget, then Mr. Richarson is your candidate. Why is he the best candidate on all of these issues:
Historically, members of Congress have not been great presidential candidates. Being a member of the legislature is quite different from being an executive (ie, Reagan, Clinton), and Bill Richardson is both the Governor of New Mexico (something that he tries to remind everyone in all of his interviews) and a former congressman. But more importantly, Mr. Richardson has experience in the important issues facing the nation. He was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and was the Secretary of Energy, both posts under President Clinton.
Personally, I find that his plan, in part based on his experience in the Balkans, for pulling troops out of Iraq and using the U.N. and diplomacy to bring in a coalition of armed forces from Muslim states to be the only sensible solution (similar to the one that I have proposed). He is also incredibly knowledgeable about energy policy and understands the problems associated with energy, our foreign energy dependence on Middle East oil, and the environment.
Richardson’s mother is Mexican and his father American, and he has lived in both the U.S. and Mexican. This adds another plus to the U.S. presidency, having a fully bilingual and multi-cultural president to lead both the debate on immigration and in dealing with foreign leaders.
Finally, Richardson offers something that Hillary cannot give to her candidacy. He is not controversial and does not genereate animosity the way that Hillary does. For all of the experience that Hillary claims to have for her time spent in the Clinton White House and now in the U.S. Senate, Richardson also spent time in the Clinton Administration as a Secretary and as an Ambassador. He has also served time in Congress like Hillary, but also has the experience as an “elected” executive.
But, Mr. Richardson will not become the next president. It looks like there is no stopping the Hillary Clinton train. Hillary is doing very well in interviews and in debates, and she is incredibly well disciplined in the statements she is making to the press and public. At the same time, her closest competitor, Obama, is not performing up to everyone’s expectations. Furthermore, Hillary also has much better funding and more support in her party than does Richardson. Finally, as was the case with Bill Bradley, Richardson lacks a charismatic punch to his public speaking.
So if Mr. Richardson is not going to win, why is he still in running? One reason could be to get name recognition for future elections. Another is that he might be a good running mate to Hillary. This does not seem far fetched considering Richardson was part of the Clinton Administration.
Here you can find the NewsHour’s interview with Governor Richardson.
And of course, the “best one for the job” simply means the least pathetic, lamentable candidate.