?Usted tambi?n Richardson?

Bill Richardson llama por teléfono Hillary Clinton:  Soy el hijo estropeado y privilegiado de un banquero mexicano con un apellido inglés. Soy también un traidor! Hehehehe! Viva Obama!

(Bill Richardson makes a telephone call to Hillary Clinton: I am the spoiled and privileged son of a Mexican banker with an English surname. I am also a traitor. Hehehehe! Hurrah Obama!)

March 25, 2008 – Lugano (apj.us) – The saga of Bill Richardson’s treachery to Hillary and Bill Clinton was largely a snore, except that Richardson, full of himself as always, decided to “choose off” Mark Penn – Clinton’s chief strategist  – because Penn told the media the truth; that Richardson’s endorsement of Barack Obama was late and therefore pointless.

What Penn actually said was:

The time that he could have been effective has long since passed," Penn told reporters on a conference call. "I don’t think it is a significant endorsement in this environment.

Penn was talking of course about the fact that Richardson waited until after the Texas primary and caucuses (that yielded a large Hispanic vote) to give Obama his endorsement.

But Penn was being kind to Richardson. He could have gone farther and told the press that most Hispanics were not even aware that Richardson was a Mexican-American to begin with.

What Obama gains from Richardson’s pat on the head is a puzzle.

In a recent poll more than half of Latino voters, not just in Texas, but in 23 American states replied that “no Latino was running for president.” Only a quarter of Hispanic voters recognized Richardson as a Hispanic in the Democratic presidential race.

The opinion poll of 1,000 voters was conducted in March by Lake Research Partners, a nonpartisan polling firm. The research found that Hillary Clinton is the most favored Democratic candidate among Latino voters, with 60 percent saying they would vote for her while only 9 percent favored Richardson himself – so perhaps Obama asked him to hold off fearful his endorsement would hurt?.

The poll also found that Richardson wouldn’t even garnering votes among Latinos who recognized him as Hispanic. According to the survey Richardson's gained very little among Latinos who knew he was Hispanic, but even among those voters, he ran behind Clinton.

Why is Richardson so annoyed at Mark Penn and others running the Clinton campaign?

That’s tough to say except that he may be worried that any cabinet position Obama may have promised him, would be overshadowed by media focus on his past.

Richardson, while a great baseball player, was no bright light while serving Bill Clinton as Ambassador to the United Nations, or as his Secretary of Energy.

This is significant because Richardson is in the same league, in my opinion, as Julius Caesar’s Brutus or the traitorous little twerp turned mega-affluent George Stephanopoulos, ABC News political guru, who also ran from his President ( Bill Clinton) at the first sign of trouble.

One has to give credit to Richardson on the Lewinsky matter though. He offered her a job at the U.N. while serving as United Nations Ambassador. Lewinsky turned him down. In 1998 he was made Secretary of Energy and led a dreary department for a couple of years most notably marred by the Wen Ho Lee espionage scandal. He spent much of his time stroking Native Americans.

After his dim public career, he raced to join Henry Kissinger’s $30,000 dollar-per-phone-call consulting firm. He also used his position as Secretary of Energy to spring onto the board of directors of Valero Energy Corp. and Diamond Offshore Drilling – but then again New Mexico, where he is now governor – has no seashore.

One wonders whether Richardson is a Democrat at all. He made it to the governor’s mansion pushing tax cuts and life insurance for New Mexico National Guardsman – laudable but not exactly earth shattering liberal initiatives. Richardson also supports NRA-sponsored laws that now allow carrying of concealed handguns in New Mexico (a bow to the “old west”) and has a cloaked gun permit himself.

Most frightening for Democrats may be Forbes Magazine crediting Richardson for its naming Albuquerque the best U.S. city for business and careers, and worse that the CATO Institute called him the most fiscally responsible governor in America. Code words for more welfare reform?

But let me not forget – Richardson finally a signed a bill making cockfighting illegal in New Mexico, so he can’t be all that bad.

It’s clear to me that Bill Richardson wants to be Obama’s Secretary of State. He might have asked Mrs. Clinton for this position as well – and he might have been turned down, recently.

Remember, as governor of New Mexico somehow Richardson has (1) rushed to North Korea at George W. Bush’s request to talk about nuclear energy. (2) In 2006, Richardson was named as "Special Envoy for Hemispheric Affairs" Organization of American States with the mandate to "promote dialogue on issues of importance to the region, such as immigration and free trade" (3) In 2006 he also jetted to the Sudan where he “brokered” a 60-day cease fire between al-Bashir and leaders of rebel factions in Darfur. Too bad that was a complete failure.

One might scratch his head wondering how the governor of such an insignificant state continually acts on the international stage for conservatives.

I suppose we shall discover why if Senator Obama is elected president.

Or will we?


Jeff Koopersmith is a political consultant, opinion research authority, policy analyst, and self-described "renegade lobbyist." He lives in Philadelphia, Washington and Geneva.

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