Friday, March 21, 2008

Governor Bill Richardson Endorses Obama

Richardson Endorses Obama

By Patrick Healy
The New York Times

Friday 21 March 2008

Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, who sought to become the nation's first Hispanic president this year, plans to endorse Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination on Friday at a campaign event in Oregon, according to an Obama adviser.

Mr. Richardson, a former congressman and energy secretary in the Clinton administration, dropped out of the Democratic race in January after finishing behind Mr. Obama and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in the first nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Since then, both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton have aggressively courted Mr. Richardson for his endorsement. Mrs. Clinton had also deployed her husband, and Mr. Richardson's former boss, to seek the governor's political support; former President Bill Clinton watched the Super Bowl in February with Mr. Richardson, and both Clintons had spent time on the phone trying to persuade him to back her candidacy.

In a statement explaining his endorsement, which was provided by the Obama campaign early Friday morning, Mr. Richardson hailed Mr. Obama's judgment and ability to be commander-in-chief - qualities that Mrs. Clinton has called into question in recent weeks on the campaign trail.

"I believe he is the kind of once-in-a-lifetime leader that can bring our nation together and restore America's moral leadership in the world," Mr. Richardson said in the statement. "As a presidential candidate, I know full well Sen. Obama's unique moral ability to inspire the American people to confront our urgent challenges at home and abroad in a spirit of bipartisanship and reconciliation."

Mr. Richardson based his candidacy in large part on his strong opposition to the war in Iraq and on calls for an immediate and total withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton both support a steady but carefully paced withdrawal of troops; Mr. Obama, however, was an early, consistent opponent of the war, while Mrs. Clinton voted in 2002 to authorize military action in Iraq and supported the war in its first years.

As a governor, Mr. Richardson is a super-delegate who would have a vote in the nominating contest if neither Mr. Obama nor Mrs. Clinton ends the primary season in June with a lead in the delegates amassed during the 2008 primaries and caucuses. Mr. Obama now has an overall lead of 1,485 delegates, according to an analysis by the New York Times; a candidate needs 2,024 to win the Democratic nomination.

Moreover, as the nation's only Hispanic governor, Mr. Richardson could become a champion for Mr. Obama among Hispanic voters, who have been a key voting bloc for Mrs. Clinton in the primaries thus far. And his endorsement is also notable because he is a friend and admirer of Mrs. Clinton, and was widely viewed as a possible running mate for both her and for Mr. Obama.

Mr. Richardson served as ambassador to the United Nations under Mr. Clinton, and has also worked as an official and unofficial troubleshooter for the government on foreign policy issues and crises, drawing on his extensive contacts overseas such as with leaders of North Korea.

"There is no doubt in my mind that Barack Obama has the judgment and courage we need in a commander in chief when our nation's security is on the line. He showed this judgment by opposing the Iraq war from the start, and he has show it during this campaign by standing up for a new era in American leadership internationally," Mr. Richardson said in his statement.

In a prepared statement, Mr. Obama said:

"Whether it's fighting to end the Iraq war or stop the genocide in Darfur or prevent nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists, Gov. Richardson has been a powerful voice on issues of global security, peace and justice, earning five Nobel Peace Prize nominations," Obama said in a statement.

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Blogger Hersh Chaturvedi said...

I think the passions that Obama arouses are curiously textured on both the sides-- those who write him off do so for reasons as insufficient as those who embrace him. he is NOT the Messiah, but nor is he the Pretender-- at least any more than Bush (who appeared dimwitted but reliable, "shrub"), or Clinton (who was brilliant, but unreliable, "slick") were.

Actually, it is, in part, a "white boy" fatigue that lifts Obama's boat. Not that there is anything racial about it.

Obama's most impassioned followers transfer ages of (partly imagined) burden, and see him as the benevolent exponent who'd score a symbolic victory over generations of (partly imagined) inequities. His biggest appeal is in being un-white, un-Clinton-usqu, -un-GeorgeBush-like, and in many ways, being a cool-dude. What is surprising is how it is mainly independents and intellectuals who suffer from this politician fatigue, and let their emotions drive them Obam-nuts. I, too, support him.

His worst detractors, apart from being rabid anti-Democratic politically, are also, surprisingly, blase because they are political realists. They don't dislike the man, just the warmth and halo that surround him, and poison real-politik, with hope and fervor.

That is this countries main problem. Political realism. Unlike in Pakistan, and Georgia, and Kenya, where people elevate elections to a crusade for the moral and the just, in the US it is just a leap-year exercise.

Obama threatens to make it more than just that.

3:00 PM, March 21, 2008  
Blogger lmcqueen said...

I know this is off message, but is this true?

March 6th, 2008 3:08 pm ET
report that Canada’s Prime Minister Chief of Staff, Ian Brodie, Just stated that the Hillary campaign Approached him about the NAFTA comments and told him to take the comments with a grain of salt! So This is all over the Canadian News but here no one is talking about it !!!

4:00 PM, March 21, 2008  

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