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My Examiner column today focuses on Bill Richardson's quest for the Presidency and its threat to both the Republicans and Hillary Clinton. It's a distillation and extension of my thoughts over the past two days since Richardson announced for the race:
The Republican front-runners have better track records than their Democratic counterparts, at least for the moment. Between them, Hillary Clinton, former Sen. John Edwards, and Obama have a total of 14 years of national office and only 21 years of electoral office experience.
By comparison, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has been in the Senate for more than 20 years, Rudy Giuliani served as mayor of New York City for eight years and Mitt Romney has one four-year term as governor of Massachussetts.
Between them, these three GOP candidates have a dozen years just in executive experience, which the Democratic front-runners completely lack. McCain and Giuliani have notable biographies of service to the nation, while Romney has the rescue of the Salt Lake City Olympics to his credit.
The GOP has a significant edge in experience at the moment, but it is an edge that will evaporate if Richardson takes the Democratic nomination. Will the Democrats be smart enough to take advantage of it?
I'm betting that the Democrats won't be smart enough to choose the candidate most likely to win, just as they failed to do in 2004 when they left Joe Lieberman on the bench. However, the Republicans better have a plan that consists of more than hoping their rivals manage to make the big mistake.
Some have speculated that Richardson could wind up being Hillary's VP choice. That's possible, but I don't consider it likely. Richardson's term as governor will last through 2010, giving him plenty of opportunity to run again for 2012 if Hillary doesn't win the general election. Being the VP in a Clinton White House has already proven somewhat problematic for promotion. Besides, why would Richardson give up his current office just to be Hillary's show pony?
Hillary wouldn't select Richardson anyway, unless she had already captured the hard Left in the party. Assuming she wins the nomination, Obama will get the first pick as her running mate. He's Midwestern, black, more well-liked, and personally a better campaigner. Richardson won't win her any votes from the MoveOn crowd, and Obama will shore up some constituencies in both the Left and center.
Enjoy the column, and read it all. I believe we will be talking about Richardson much more than people think over the next year.
UPDATE: Daniel Freedman for President! Except for that whole Article II thing, of course. Should natural US citizens born abroad of at least one American citizen be barred from holding the nation's highest office?Sphere It View blog reactions
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"New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s entry into the 2008 presidential sweepstakes Sunday garnered little notice, overshadowed as it was by the announcement of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., the day before," Ed Morrissey writes in the Examiner.... [Read More]
Tracked on January 23, 2007 1:51 PM
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