New Mexico Governor and former Clintonista Bill Richardson is launching an exploratory presidential bid, per AP.
Naturally the MSM, unaware of the way that the Obama campaign has exposed the complexity and irrationality of the idea of "race" in politics and elsewhere, will trumpet a Richardson campaign as a move to become the nation's first Hispanic president. What they will ignore is that among all possible Democrats, Richardson would bring broad experience in government, including especially executive experience, and a relatively moderate record.
In other words, he looks like a guy who could govern without a clown suit.
If '08 becomes Richardson versus Rudy, McCain or Mitt, we can all trade opinions and vote our consciences but also maintain normal heart rate, secure in the knowledge that a steady hand will hold the tiller in January of '09.
Can Richardson win? He immediately becomes the proverbial dark horse. He lacks the media impact of Hillary or Obama. But besides gravitas, he also has the luxury of having been sidelined, as a governor with no voice on national security, during the Iraq war. Hence, he has no pro-war baggage with his party's left, though he probably has little appeal with it, either. And he has no anti-war baggage with the independent electorate that isn't comfortable with cut-and-run "redeployment." He can, if he so chooses, offer a plan that makes both sides shut up and listen while not sounding like a triangulator.
If Hillary's castor-oil charm takes full effect and Obama's lack of experience starts to show, we could see the Ds coalesce* around a guy who brings to the stump some ethnicity and some memories of Clintonite glory, plus some wisdom. And that would be Bill Richardson.
That is, Richardson could prevail if anyone can withstand the Clinton shredding machine. Reports originating with the Washington Times are suggesting that Hillary's special forces are behind a move to hit Obama with his alleged study as a child at a madrassa, or Muslim seminary (for fun, check out how the "progressive" Media Matters--an organization that is "dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media"--is spinning this spin: anything reported by conservatives about reports coming from Hillary are wrong because they come from conservatives).
Among the skills that the Clintons learned as admirers of JFK was how to destroy opponents. We saw how it worked with Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones. Obama (also this week revealed to be a smoker) is probably next. Will Richardson follow?
*Or is congeal the proper word for what Democrats do around their candidate?