Category Archives: Bill Richardson

Which candidate do YOU hate the most?

Ahillary             "NEVER? Whaddaya mean, ‘never?’"

Seems like I’ll stoop to anything to get you to click on a blog post, doesn’t it? Sorry about the headline. Tacky. I would never encourage you to hate anyone.

But my point was to share with you the results of this Zogby poll, which found that half the electorate says it would never vote for Hillary Clinton. She has the highest negatives, and Mike Huckabee and Bill Richardson have the lowest, going by that standard. (You may have already read about this, as it came out Saturday, but I’m just now getting around to checking the e-mail account the release came to). An excerpt from the report:

    While she is winning wide support in nationwide samples among Democrats in the race for their party’s presidential nomination, half of likely voters nationwide said they would never vote for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows.
    The online survey of 9,718 likely voters nationwide showed that 50% said Clinton would never get their presidential vote. This is up from 46% who said they could never vote for Clinton in a Zogby International telephone survey conducted in early March. Older voters are most resistant to Clinton – 59% of those age 65 and older said they would never vote for the New York senator, but she is much more acceptable to younger voters: 42% of those age 18–29 said they would never vote for Clinton for President.
    At the other end of the scale, Republican Mike Huckabee and Democrats Bill Richardson and Barack Obama faired best, as they were least objectionable to likely voters. Richardson was forever objectionable as President to 34%, while 35% said they could never vote for Huckabee and 37% said they would never cast a presidential ballot for Obama, the survey showed….

Here’s the full list:

Whom would you NEVER vote for for President of the U.S.?


Clinton (D)


Kucinich (D)


Gravel (D)


Paul (R)


Brownback (R)


Tancredo (R)


McCain (R)


Hunter (R)


Giuliani (R)


Romney (R)


Edwards (D)


Thompson (R)


Dodd (D)


Biden (D)


Obama (D)


Huckabee (R)


Richardson (D)


Not sure


I got to thinking about it just now, and wondered for the first time which, of all the candidates, would I be least likely to choose at this point? Here’s how I would rank them personally:

Mind you, that’s just off the top of my head, based on what I know now, without any of my editorial board colleagues setting me straight on any of the calls. And I’ll admit I cheated on one — I can’t even picture "Hunter," much left summon up any relevant impressions, so I just sort of buried him in the pack toward the "less likely" end, hoping no one would notice.

How about you?

I knew there was something I liked about that guy from New Mexico

Sounds like one of the Democrats is ready to switch to the Energy Party. Hey, the more, the merrier. Meanwhile, ol’ Fred Thompson’s gettin’ all feisty with Michael Moore:

Democratic candidate Bill Richardson unveils plan to cut oil dependence, greenhouse gases
Eds: ADDS reference to Web site of Thompson video.
Associated Press Writer

(AP) – Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson on Thursday
laid out his plan for a dramatic shift in the way the U.S. uses energy,
proposing to all but end the country’s reliance on oil and reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2040.

President Kennedy’s call for the Apollo space program, he said the
nation needs a "man-on-the-moon" effort to develop technologies that
will cut energy costs and halt global warming.

"I am issuing a
call to action, for Congress, the energy industry and the public," he
said in a speech to the New America Foundation. "I am calling for a new
American revolution _ an energy and climate revolution."

plan encourages people to drive electric and plug-in cars, promotes
public transportation and calls for increasing fuel economy standards
to 50 miles a gallon by 2020 from about 25 miles per gallon now.

also wants to fund programs to develop wind, solar and biomass energy,
and create a market-based system requiring utilities to emit less

Richardson has promoted his energy plan this week in campaign stops in California and elsewhere.

says his experience as energy secretary under President Clinton and as
the current governor of New Mexico give him a leg up on other
candidates, who also have rolled out energy plans.

Democratic front-runner, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, also has
called for an "Apollo program" on energy. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama
recently lectured automakers for investing in bigger, faster cars while
dependency on oil is jeopardizing U.S. security and the global
environment. And Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd wants to double the
average fuel economy for each automaker to 50 mpg by 2017.


(AP) _ Fred Thompson, the not-quite-yet presidential candidate, is
getting flattering buzz on the Internet. Now he’s returning the favor,
and piquing more interest in the process.

In a blog to be
posted on on Friday, the "Law & Order" actor and
former Tennessee senator praises the Internet as a way to send a
message beyond the Washington beltway.

Thompson has shown
himself to be well-schooled in the ways of the Internet. He knows what
sites are saying and he knows where to go to push his ideas.

week he engaged in a spat with producer Michael Moore over Moore’s
movie "Sicko," which depicts survivors of the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks seeking medical care in Cuba. Moore is now under investigation
for traveling to Cuba in possible violation of the Cuban economic

Thompson questioned Moore’s trip. Moore rebutted with
a challenge to debate, archly noting that Thompson has been described
as a fan of Montecristo cigars from Havana.

In a video posted
, Thompson shot back. Sitting in a leather chair in his
home study, he slowly puffs from a cigar and reminds Moore that the
Cuban government once thwarted a documentary filmmaker by putting him
in a mental institution.

"Mental institution, Michael, might be something you ought to think about," he says.

clip was shot with a small video camera and Thompson came up with his
own script, said Mark Corallo, his part-time spokesman. Simple and
cheap, it’s getting plenty of viewers.

"Whether or not the
Internet can elect any particular candidate in any particular race,
it’s clear that all of you and many friend across the blogosphere and
the Web are part of a true information revolution," Thompson writes in
his Pajamasmedia posting.

Pajamasmedia CEO and co-founder
Roger Simon said, "If he does run, and I suspect he’s going to, he is
going to be the most Web-savvy candidate yet."

Though Thompson offers no overt hint of his intentions, he signs off saying: "Hopefully, we’ll continue this conversation."


Associated Press writer Jim Kunhnhenn contributed to this report.

I just realized what it was that rang a bell for me at the top of that story. Last election cycle, Jennifer Talhelm was writing for The State, down in our newsroom. Nice kid. Young lady, I mean.

Democratic Debate Column


Orangeburg debate just
a start, but a good one

By Brad Warthen
Editorial Page Editor
AS BOB COBLE walked out of a breakfast meeting Friday, the bearlike New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson placed him in a loose, amiable headlock and asked what he would have to do to get him to support his bid for the presidency.
    “You’ll have to squeeze harder than that,” I thought. As the governor knew, the Columbia mayor is a John Edwards man.
    But for those who had not made up their minds, the “debate” in Orangeburg Thursday night was a better-than-expected opportunity to begin the winnowing process.
    Eight candidates in 90 minutes is patently ridiculous. But those who planned and executed it, from South Carolina State University to MSNBC, can take pride in making the most of the situation.
National media, as expected, focus on which of the “two candidates,” Hillary or Obama (like Madonna, they no longer need titles or full names), came out on top. Some stretch themselves and mention ex-Sen. Edwards.
    OK, let’s dispense with that: Sen. Clinton presented no surprises, rock star Obama came across as pretty stiff playing in this orchestra — nothing of his usual, charismatic rolling thunder. Ex-Sen. Edwards did his usual shtick.
    But some of us tuned in to learn something new. I did. And I didn’t care which of the overexposed, anointed titans of fund-raising would be a more ideologically pure party standard-bearer. Those of us who spurn both parties — in other words, those of us who actually decide national elections — were looking for someone we might vote for (if such a person survives the partisan gantlet far enough to give us the chance). We’ll be looking for the same when the Republicans meet at the Koger Center May 15.
    I don’t think any of us got any conclusive answers. But the questions posed were good enough to provide some impressions, however scattered, that at least made the event worth the time invested:

Best new impression: I had heard good things about Gov. Richardson, but not met him before. The debate, plus his call-in to a radio show I was on Friday morning, made me want to find out more. I liked the fact that he was real, honest and unscripted, perhaps the result of being a governor and actually dealing with real problems instead of living in Washington’s 24-hour partisan echo chamber.

Best old impression: Could Sen. Joe Biden contain his gift of gab well enough to play well with others on such a crowded stage without his head exploding? “Yes.” Since I’ve heard him speak in our own board room for two hours almost without pause, this was a pleasant surprise. I’ve always liked the guy, but this is one Irishman who didn’t just kiss the Blarney Stone; he took it home with him.

Commander in chief? I expected the candidates to compete to see who was most against our involvement in Iraq and for the longest time. But if it’s fairly judged, Dennis Kucinich wins that pointless contest hands-down. It’s also a barrier to me, since I consider giving up in Iraq to be anathema. So I looked to see who was leaving themselves any room to present a more credible position in the general election, when it’s no longer necessary to court The winners of that contest: Sen. Biden, followed by Sen. Obama.

Second funniest moment: The look in John Edwards’ eyes when he acknowledged being filthy rich, just before going into his nostalgic boilerplate about having been poor once upon a time. This is a much-rehearsed look for him, intended to look like wide-eyed candor. But it struck me like, You bet I’m rich, and lovin’ it, too. Probably an anomaly in the camera angle.

Making Kucinich sound reasonable: A writer on summed it up better than I can, as follows: “When the candidates were asked who owned a gun, (Ex-Sen. Mike) Gravel was one of those who raised his hand. ‘I was worried that he meant he had one with him at the moment,’ said a senior adviser to a top candidate.” I hadn’t gotten around to including a link to this particular candidate on my blog. After Thursday night, I don’t think I’ll bother.

Common sense: You could tell who really wanted to be president. They raised their hands to say they believed there’s such a thing as a global War on Terror, and didn’t raise their hands to support Dennis the Menace’s move to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. Outside of partisan blogs there’s something we call the real world; everyone except Rep. Kucinich showed that they live in it at least part-time.

The most enduring litmus test: Even after all the times I’ve seen and heard this, the grip of the abortion lobby on the Democratic Party still strikes me as astounding. Is there any greater demonstration of the power of party uber alles than hearing a Roman Catholic such as Sen. Biden emphatically saying, “I strongly support Roe v. Wade,” and asserting complete faith in the existence of a right to privacy in the Constitution?

South Carolina’s shame: Only one thing was mentioned all night that let you know this took place in South Carolina — the Confederate flag at our State House. So much for our wish to build a new image based on hydrogen research and the like.

    The event helped me begin to focus on this process, which has been easy to ignore with everything going on in South Carolina. There will be many debates, interviews and other opportunities before the winnowing is done. Whether this newspaper will support, or whether I personally will vote for, any of these candidates is a question that it is far too soon to answer.
    But this was a start.

Goin’ to the candidates’ debate

Did any of y’all catch us on the radio this morning? What did you think?

I thought Mike did great — far more knowledgeable and focused than I was. And Andy did a good job of lining up phone-in guests — Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, Joe Scarborough, Jeff Greenfield.

If you missed it, and still want to listen, here it is.

Beyond that, if you haven’t shared your thoughts on the debate itself, here’s another opportunity to do so.

Pelosi column

The deep, dark secret of politics:
They’re all just people

BUSH: Is this movie gonna be called “George and Alexandra”; is that the name of this movie?
PELOSI: I don’t know. What do you think it should be called?
BUSH: Uhh… I don’t know — “Geourneys with George?” Pretty good one, huh? You can spell it with a G?
PELOSI: G, yeah! (laughs)

CONSIDER this to be a last kind word before the madness begins. OK, so it’s already started. But it’s never too late for a kind word.
    Joe Biden’s been hanging out here a year or two. I’m not sure John McCain ever left in 2000. We’ve seen Christopher Dodd, Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee, Tom Vilsack. I haven’t actually seen Bill Richardson, but he spoke to one of my colleagues on the phone, so I know he’s thinking about us. Mitt Romney was here last Wednesday. Then Barack Obama on Friday and Saturday, and the other media darling, Hillary Clinton, Monday.
    Rudy Giuliani today, ex-Gov. Romney back on Thursday, and some guy named Duncan Hunter Friday.
    With 18 contenders between the two major parties, I know I’m forgetting somebody. Oh, yeah — John Edwards was down in Charleston the other day, and his experience was a good example of the madness I’m talking about.
    He came to talk about health care. The State’s reporter actually wrote about that. But the traveling press corps only wanted to know about a couple of kids he had hired to blog for him. Really. Not that it was in any way important, but that was The Story of the Day, as decreed by 24-hour cable TV “news” and the always-on-message partisan blogs.
    Brace yourself for a lot of this. Gather your strength. Sit back, relax. Rent a movie, and watch it. Specifically, this one: “Journeys with George,” a documentary about George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign for president, made by Nancy Pelosi’s daughter.
    No, really, it’s good. I was worried, too. I had ordered it from Netflix in late November, thinking it was something I ought to see. Then I let it sit on top of the TV until last week.
    Bush according to Pelosi, I thought each night. Too much like work. Tired. Watch “House” episode for third time instead.
    I broke down last week, at the behest of one of my daughters. Two minutes into it, I called another daughter who was upstairs, told her she had to see this, and started it over. It was that good.
    What was so good about it? Well, certainly not the production values. It was shot with a camcorder by Alexandra Pelosi as a home movie of her year as an NBC producer, traveling with the Texas governor as he sought the presidency. You’ve seen YouTube? Like that, only longer.
    What was good about it was that everybody in the film came across as a human being. If you don’t find that surprising, you need a quick unreality check: Put this down, watch a couple of hours of TV “news,” then visit a few of the more popular blogs.
    See what I mean?
    In this movie, the president-to-be is neither the warmongering demon nor the stalwart defender of all that’s right and true.
    He’s just this guy. The joshing, never-serious, somewhat condescending uncle to the young woman who keeps sticking a camcorder in his face for reasons that aren’t entirely apparent. A little on the goofy side, but no idiot.
    And Ms. Pelosi is neither the Spawn of the Liberal She-Devil nor what you think of when you say “NBC Nightly News” either. She’s not the former because, brace yourself, Nancy Pelosi is actually a human being, too. She’s not the latter partly because she’s a producer, not the on-air “talent” you’re used to. Producers are the ones behind the scenes who get actual work done — arranging travel, lining up interviews, soothing hurt feelings — while the ones you know are checking their hair. Think Andie MacDowell to Bill Murray’s weatherman in “Groundhog Day.”
    She comes across as what she apparently is — a bright, friendly young woman who is very tired of getting up at 6 a.m., herded to airplanes and fed turkey sandwiches all day.
    The two of them are practically friends. When she gets interested in a smiley guy from Newsweek (who later turns out to be a cad), Gov. Bush teases her, then offers semiserious advice. When she reports a little too accurately on her fellow media types and they all refuse to speak to her, George steps in to make peace.
    In other words, they act like people. Likable people, no matter what you think of their politics. So do the others on the bus, including some familiar faces. Nobody took the camcorder girl seriously, so they forgot to put their masks on. Sure, the candidate is deliberately trying to charm the press. What will surprise his detractors is that he’s so good at it. Karl Rove still comes across as a creep, but that’s because it’s real life.
    This brilliant little ditty of a film reveals a deep, dark secret: Like Soylent Green, politics is actually made of people. Real people, whom you are not required by law either to hate or to love. You just hang with them, and see them as they are in the tedium of daily coexistence. People, living their lives. Not symbols, not abstractions, not caricatures.
    I ordered the movie because Columbia attorney Jim Leventis, a perfectly normal guy who belongs to my Rotary Club, is Alexandra Pelosi’s godfather. He describes the speaker of the House as “just a wonderful mom and just a wonderful friend.” Really.
    You should see it if you can, and remember the lesson it teaches. It might ground you enough to preserve your faith in people over the next 12 months.
    I’ll try to remember it, too, as those 18 candidates posture for the extremists in their respective parties. If I forget, remind me.

Hillary shows Darrell the money

Just wanted to make sure everybody had seen this. An excerpt:

    Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign reached a deal to pay a key South Carolina black leader’s consulting firm more than $200,000 just days before he agreed to endorse her run for president, it was revealed yesterday.
    The arrangement involves South Carolina state Sen. Darrell Jackson, a well-connected African-American leader and pastor whose support is coveted by national campaigns.

Here’s what The Hotline had to say about it. Excerpt:

    Yesterday, Jackson confirmed that he had decided to endorse Sen. Hillary Clinton,
less than six days after his public relations firm, Sunrise
Enterprises, agreed to a contract with Clinton’s campaign worth at
least $10,000 a month through the 2008 elections – a total of $210,000.
(The contract has not been signed.)
    A few days before that, Jackson was deep in negotiations with Steve Hildebrand, a senior strategist for Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign.
On the table was a contract worth in excess of $5K a month, beginning
on 3/15/07. Separately, Obama was personally soliciting Jackson’s
    There’s no question that the contract and the negotiations are
legal. Sunrise is the oldest political consulting firm run by African
Americans in the state and its services were in demand: at least five
candidates, including Gov. Bill Richardson and Sen. Joe Biden, reached out to Jackson.

Personally, I suspect Sen. Jackson DID have his pick of contracts, as he says, and he preferred Mrs. Clinton. Whatever one thinks of the ethics of this, there’s no question it’s bad news for Obama, for former Jackson favorite John Edwards, and for poor old Joe Biden, who’s been working his behind off in this state for a couple of years now.

Sen. Clinton hasn’t even arrived here yet, and Sen. Jackson’s favor is already hers. It’s an unfair world.