Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Richardson on Hardball

Governor Richardson was on Hardball with Chris Matthews yesterday, discussing issues like North Korea, Iraq and the race for the White House in 2008. From the National Journal's Hotline On Call:

MSNBC's Matthews: "Why do you think we went to Iraq? The real reason, not the sales pitch. Why do you think we went there?"

Richardson: "I believe the president wanted to avenge his father, who I think conducted a very sound foreign policy in Iraq, and the fact that it wasn't terminated, the war, that we didn't finish the job."

Matthews: "Well, do you think the impulse was Oedipal or filial?"

Richardson: "Those are words that I don't understand."

You see, Governor Richardson is a smart man. Whether he knows the meaning of the words Oedipal or filial, I don't know. But, in a shrewd political maneuver, what he did was set himself up as the regular guy, and not the know-it-all Matthews who comes across as one of those Beltway elitists much like John Kerry or the Al Gore of old. Why use big, fancy words that only a small percentage of the people know and use, when speaking simply will suffice? That's a lesson Brian Schweitzer has been preaching.

And what of Governor Richardson's intentions for 2008?

On WH '08: "I haven't decided yet. I got to get through my re-election in New Mexico. I've got to elect a bunch of Democratic governors. By the way, we're going to get a majority. There are 22 of us. I bet you we get to 26 governorships. That's the unknown story there"

I think the focus for right now is to get Richardson as high above 60% in his re-election bid as possible, and to get as many Democratic Governors elected as possible. As we've discussed on this blog, he's already got the most extensive resume of any potential candidate. But if he cna get a majority of Democratic governors elected, who do you think they're going to support come 2008: the man who spent time in their state and helped them get elected, or some guy who flies in once a month to raise money?

That's another shrewd political decision by the man we hope will be the next President of the United States. And Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, seems to agree:

That's a great position for a potential presidential candidate. You're able to make a lot of people in your party happy. You show up for big events with checks,'' says Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

He's building up chits and these candidates will always remember the people who helped them out when they needed it the most. If these Democratic nominees for governor get elected, they're going to have a ready-made army to deploy for the new governor's favorite presidential candidate.''

One thing's for sure: there are at least two of us in Washington who are ready to deploy in the Richardson army, and I bet we can find a few more.

Tip of the hat to Citizen Steve for pointing us to Hotline On Call.

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