by venice1789, Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 12:55:02 PM EDT
There was an article in Slate on "Why Richardson's Endorsement Matters" - and it didn't say anything interesting - but it made me think - yea, the endorsement matters to Richardson himself.
None of these high-profile endorsements are made for altruistic reasons. The endorsers are not really looking to help the candidate, they are of course out to help themselves. The question for them is: what do I personally have to gain by endorsing such and such a candidate.
The fact taht Richardson waited so long is telling in and of itself. If he was so passionately committed to Obama why didn't he come out before Fed. 5th?
I beleive he weighed the political costs of endorsing strongly. He must have realized that he stood to gain nothing by endorsing Hillary. He already got out of the Clintons everything he will ever get out of them. Bill elevated him to the national level, made his name in politics. In another Clinton administration, he isn't going to be a high-profile player: he wouldn't be on the ticket, he isn't being re-appointed to the cabinet, he isn't getting another ambassadorship. He remains at the state level.
By endorsing Obama he only stands to gain. Obama has a HUGE hispanic problem - they don't vote for him at all - so that puts Richardon in the running to be on the ticket. And Richardson is still am ambitious politican - he was running for president - so I beleive this is really an attempt to get himself on the ticket if Obama is the nominee.
So as far as I'm concerned the Richardson endorsement was totally political motived by his own personal political ambitions. He put politics above friendship - and in that way it was an "act of betrayal" toward the Clintons who supported him and "mentored" him onto the national level.
The same goes for the Kennedy endrosement - old Ted was quite clearly trying to gain some glow from the younger man. It was transparent and pretty disgusting.
Now, for the speech. I find the media response interesting. Is there any commentator other than the reliably cranky Charles Krautheimer who is going to say a single bad word about the speech? No! So in terms of the media narrative it was a win for Obama. The media are scared shitless to say aything even remotely critical of the speech! Thank god we have Krautheimer, who called it a "brilliant fraud," which is exactly what it was.
And kudos to Bill Clinton as well for calling a spade a spade in his comments saying that the speech and the whol eissue of race is a red-herring - and a major distraction from the real issues at hand.
Do the American people really want to be preached at for four or eight years everytime this Obama is caught in an instance of double-talk, which from recent history is just about once or twice a week? I don't think so.
Do the American people want to spend the next four to eight years hearing themselves called racists at every turn, every time they critize Obama on any topic? I don't think so.
With a war to end in Iraq, a war to win in the tirbal areas of Pakistan and Afganistan, with an economy and a currency to rescue do the American people want to put race and "healing" the racial divide, which is more real to Obama than it is to the rest of the country who are struggling day to day to make ends meet, above all of these other problems?
I doubt it.