New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has received plenty of media attention for his centrist politics and his national appeal as a possible alternative to Hillary Clinton for the 2008 Presidential campaign. That may now be over for the former college pitcher, who has long claimed to have been drafted by the Kansas City Athletics as part of his biography. He now admits that the claim was a lie:
For nearly four decades, Richardson, often mentioned as a possible Democratic presidential candidate, has maintained he was drafted by the Kansas City Athletics.
The claim was included in a brief biography released when Richardson successfully ran for Congress in 1982. A White House news release in 1997 mentioned it when he was about to be named U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. And several news organizations, including The Associated Press, have reported it as fact over the years.
But an investigation by the Albuquerque Journal found no record of Richardson being drafted by the A’s, who have since moved to Oakland, or any other team.
Conveniently, after the AP checked out the claim, Richardson came to the same conclusion — at least, that’s how the former Clinton Cabinet member pitches it now. He now says that he believed he had been drafted because he saw it in a college program, as though a club which drafted a player would skip a minor step like contacting the player involved. He also says that because a couple of scouts thought that he could have been drafted, he actually was drafted. In fact, Richardson now says everything except what really apparently happened: he lied.
It certainly reminds one of the Clinton days, all right. Somehow, though, I don’t think that baseball fans need a lesson on the definition of “draft”. It’s what looks increasingly unlikely for Bill Richardson in 2008.