Thursday, January 10, 2008

Time to Smell the Coffee

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

When Bill Richardson is tired, a cup of coffee is not always enough to keep him awake.

These are pictures of him, taken after he had flown nearly halfway around the world from Sudan to Albuquerque in January 2007. He was obviously tired; he had trouble keeping his eyes open and a third cup of coffee wasn’t helping.

The cliché, time to smell the coffee, seems to have caught up with Richardson. After finishing fourth in the first two forays of the Democratic presidential campaign, with two percent in the Iowa caucus and five percent in New Hampshire, the Associated Press is reporting that Richardson will withdraw from the race today.

So what’s wrong with this picture?

There is a fair amount of speculation of what’s next for Richardson. The commenter, LP, called me out for suggesting that Richardson might possibly run for the Senate. LP wrote that Richardson would not stab Rep. Tom Udall, current Democratic Senate candidate, in the back.

It is my considered opinion that Bill Richardson is not prepared to mark the beginning of the end of his political career. Yet, over the past week, he seems to have made a serious tactical error in Iowa where it was reported that he made a deal with Sen. Barack Obama. According to members of Richardson’s Iowa staff, if he did not meet the minimum 15 percent support in the complicated caucus rules, he asked that his supporters switch to Obama.

The Clinton camp was furious. After having appointed Richardson to two high level positions during Bill Clinton’s presidency: United Nations Ambassador and Secretary of Energy, the deal to have supporters switch to Obama was seen as back stabbing.

If the Clinton camp sees Richardson as a backstabber, there is little reason for anyone else to feel assured that it could again happen elsewhere.

The last time I saw Udall, far left, Clinton, center, and Richardson, far right, together, they were on stage at Patricia Madrid’s late night rally last year. Who could have imagined that “loyal Democrats” could have created such a political riff.

My Take

Richardson, in spite of any hard feelings he may have caused at the national level, is popular enough in New Mexico to be favored in the Senate primary and general election.

We’ll see what happens… Stay tuned.

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