Richardson War Stance Gains Traction at Moveon Town Hall on Iraq
Last night MoveOn.org held a town hall on Iraq and invited the Democratic presidential candidates to "speak" on their positions on the war in Iraq. Governor Richardson is the clear winner of the debate.
From Hotline On Call's Blogometer:
From MyDD's Chris Bowers:
MoveOn.org is still polling members to determine "Which Candidate is best able to lead the country out of the war in Iraq?" but if early blogger reviews are any indication, Bill Richardson managed to separate himself away from the pack during 4/10's Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Iraq. The Blogometer recently pressed card- carrying netrooter Liberal Oasis about what a candidate would have to say on Iraq to win his vote for BloggingHeads.tv. Bill Scher stressed that the candidate who best convinced him they would leave no permanent troops anywhere in Iraq would get his vote.Bill Richardson did just that 4/10 telling MoveOners he "would have no residual force whatsoever" in the country. [emphasis mine]
I am currently listening to the entire MoveOn.org forum on Iraq. Right now, I am about halfway through Clinton's segment. So far, in the entire forum, no line struck me more than Bill Richardson's "I would have no residual force whatsoever" in his opening statement (which he repeated in his response to question #1). With perfect clarity, that is exactly the line I have been looking for from Democratic candidates for President. It is a profound, substantive difference than what we have heard from, for example, Hillary Clinton, when she states that if she is President there will be a "remaining military as well as political mission" in Iraq. This is, in the final analysis, a difference between ending the war in Iraq, and simply decreasing the size of the war Iraq.On one hand you have candidates who say they are ready to lead who will either end the war or decrease the scope of the war but not end it. On the other you have Bill Richardson, a proven leader who will end the war. Why choose unproven leadership in unsteady times, when you can have a President, Bill Richardson, who has already done it and continues to lead on foreign policy?
What really makes me happy about this statement is that it came from Bill Richardson. This is a man who, earlier today, brokered a deal with North Korea to allow weapons inspectors back into the country, and who, three months ago, brokered cease-fire deal in Darfur. To use the favorite term of neoliberal hawks, no one alive today is more "serious' about foreign policy than Bill Richardson. And yet, here he is, running for President of the Unites States, and stating that the United States should have no residual force in Iraq whatsoever.
There are candidates who will end the war, and there are candidates who will decrease its size but not end it. During the primary season, the only candidates who I will end up supporting when we start closing in on the primaries fall into the former camp. While I am sure that this makes me a naive, dirty fucking hippie, I guess it makes Bill Richardson one too. In fact, I am going to give $25 to his campaign for making this statement, and be on the lookout for Richardson 2008 drum circles in my neighborhood. Mind you, I'll keep voting for Edwards in straw polls for now, but this makes me take a long look a Bill Richardson.