June 18, 2004 | Jeff Wall

The Honourable Bill Richardson – the dark horse for the John Kerry ticket?

NOW that US election campaigning has resumed – it was suspended by the Democrat candidate, John Kerry, for a week as a tribute to Ronald Reagan –
attention has quickly turned to who might be Kerry’s “running mate”.
The Vice Presidential candidates are much more important than are the Vice Presidents. Generally, the successful candidate’s day in the sun is before he is elected, not after.
The race between George W Bush and John Kerry is – on the basis of just about every poll – a statistical dead heat. That can be interpreted as bad new for the incumbent, but it can also be seen as bad news for his challenger given the current domestic and international political environment.
John Kerry is getting plenty of advice about who his running mate should be. Mark Latham’s friend, Dick Morris, is pushing the Hilary Rodham Clinton cause very hard……….and it would seem that William Jefferson Clinton is about to join the bandwagon.
Until this week, the US media continued to speculate that Kerry would put together the “dream team” with the highly respected Republican Senator, John McCain, as his running mate. The polls give such a ticket a massive lead.
But Senator McCain is to put that speculation to rest for ever in the coming days by campaigning side by side with George W Bush.
The name most often raised is that of Senator John Edwards. His main claim to fame is that he ran second in the Democrat primaries – but it was Kerry first, daylight second and Edwards third. There is general agreement that Kerry does not particularly “like” Edwards – a bit like John F Kennedy not particularly “liking” Lyndon B Johnson.
Now John Kerry will never know I have done so, but I want to advance the cause for a much better candidate – better for the US and better for the world in particular.
The Governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, should be the stand out candidate for a ticket that desperately needs credibility.
I have long regarded Bill Richardson as among the more impressive politicians in the US. In the Clinton Administration he was a very effective Ambassador to the UN, and then Secretary for Energy. He previously served in the US House of Representatives for 15 years.
Before his election as Governor in 2002 – by a record majority – Richardson was a respected, balanced and well informed commentator on Fox News and other media outlets.
I don’t imagine the Governor of the small state of New Mexico earns much above $100,000 a year – so Bill Richardson took a massive pay cut when he returned home to be Governor.
In his first year, his agenda was to cut taxes, improve school education, develop a state wide water plan and get tough on domestic violence and sex offences.
His Inaugural Address is just four pages long and can be accessed from his website. Under the overall theme, “In It For The Long Haul”, his priorities were:
– a leaner state government and a stronger economy;
– water and the environment; and
– improving education for a world class workforce.
If John Kerry is regarded as being on the left-of-centre, Bill Richardson is somewhere between dead centre and right-of-centre. A nice balance.
Bill Richardson will be about as sharp a contrast with Richard Bruce Cheney as possible. The latter will be a significant liability to the Bush re-election strategy if he can be portrayed as a bit dodgy, out of touch (and out of sight most of the time), and the architect of the failed Iraq invasion WMD strategy……which he undoubtedly is.
Richardson’s integrity is beyond question, but he would bring two more advantages to the Kerry ticket…….advantages that might just be enough to make the difference on November 2.
He has real foreign policy credentials…………..an area Kerry is judged as being inadequate on.
He is also Hispanic………….the voting bloc George W Bush courts to the detriment of good public policy on issues like illegal immigration and illegal workers.
If John Kerry wants a running mate who will add credibility and substance to his ticket – and be as strong as possible a contrast with Richard B Cheney, then Governor Bill Richardson is his man.

Posted by Jeff Wall at 11:45 am | Comments (1) |
Filed under: US Politics

1 Comment

  1. He worked for FOX the dirty digger the newsnetwork that brings you news with a right wing slant the news that thinks Limbaugh is a sane commentator lol lolo lol ha ha ha

    Comment by john — June 19, 2004 @ 11:56 pm

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