Sunday, March 23, 2008

Richardson's endorsement is right on time

marjorie says...

The speculation about why Richardson endorsed Obama is running rampant. Many think he did it because he wants the heck out of New Mexico (why anyone would want that I don't know), and he thinks Obama is his ticket. One fellow thinking along these lines called him a Judas, but I think that particular guy is simply making himself look really bad. Last I checked, the Clintons were busy as bees telling super-delegates they can vote for whomever they please…so surely Bill can choose as he pleases without being a Judas.

It’s probably true that the Governor would like to make a move, but I tend to believe him when he explains his endorsement. It’s entirely plausible…he stuck his finger up to test the wind and saw that it had begun to pick up. Maybe it's time for the Democrats to move, and Bill is simply trying to persuade us along. Isn’t persuasion one of the things he enjoys?

Another aspect that came to mind when I heard about the endorsement was the simple possibility that it was propelled by solidarity. I know that political animals rarely act based in such things, but I still want to believe that it originates there in some small part. Obama’s speech is in many ways cathartic and fresh, but it’s also potentially dangerous for him. It makes him more vulnerable to reactionaries, none of whom base their arguments in any of the critiques I made the other day. In this respect, Bill Richardson offered his endorsement at the perfect moment. It reassured a lot of people that Obama is better than good, and that the Democrats can unify and win in November.

On that note, no one who is getting all bent about this race should forget that either of these candidates are leaps and bounds ahead of John McCain. The last thing we need is another term of war-mongering Republicans of his ilk, and the continual demonization of Hillary by the left doesn’t serve us well in this regard. She’s running a campaign, and regardless of your dislike of negativity, last time I checked it was pretty standard operating procedure for candidates on the downward slope. We don’t do ourselves any favors by turning her into evil incarnate. So we better get a grip and buckle up because countering them is never pleasant.

PS. Hillary Clinton's campaign is spinning the endorsement as meaningless, holding little sway since states with large Hispanic populations have already voted. Is it just me, or does this imply that Bill Richardson only has influence with Hispanics? Let me tell you a little anecdote. When I told my dad I was moving to New Mexico it didn’t take him long to bring up international diplomacy, and baseball, a la Richardson. My dad isn’t Hispanic, and he doesn’t live in New Mexico, but he knew about and liked Bill long before I moved here.