By the time Bill Clinton became President, Bill Richardson was regarded as a thoughtful and moderate policy wonk. Richardson had avoided the Congressional scandals of the that 80s and early 90s. Richardson was respected and liked by Republicans and appeared to be a perfect example of the “New Democrat” Pres. Clinton was promoting. Richardson’s profile climbed during Bill Clinton’s first term.
Pres. Bill Clinton promoted Bill Richardson to UN Ambassador in 1997. A popular and well received selection, Richardson appeared to have the perfect set of personal qualities and professional resume. Richardson could be trusted to know what was really happening in the world and how the Clinton foreign policy of taking the minimal action necessary to produce short term popularity, both at home and abroad could be adapted to those realities.
But, the hard working and talented Congressman from New Mexico soon learned that there is always a price for gifts from the infernal reasons, and they don’t get much more Satanic than the Clintons. Soon after becoming UN Ambassador, Richardson learned that the part of the job description that didn’t appear on the State Department website was finding out of town jobs for the President’s suddenly inconvenient ex-girlfriends. Only later did Richardson learn that this particular get away actually involved obstructing a federal criminal investigation.
So, the get Richardson away from the suddenly hot seat in the United Nations, the always paradoxical Bill Clinton found Bill Richardson another cabinet position well suited to Richardson’s educational and experiential biography. Once on the job, Richardson discovered yet another unstated responsibility at Energy-allowing the Clintons’ generous ChiCom sponsors access to American nuclear secrets at Los Alamos.
While concealing chicks from the long arm of the law and selling nuclear secrets undoubtedly were hard swallows for Richardson he was a good soldier, developed an uncanny loss of memory for a politician and diplomat of such renown, and allowed his reputation to be forever damaged by implication in the Clintons’ many crimes.
We here at TRS have always had a soft spot for Richardson. We have always viewed him as a good man caught in a bad situation, like so many of the other figures who were scarred by the conviction of dozens of Clinton Administration officials. Although Richardson escaped prosecution he undoubtedly couldn’t escape the prison of his own conscience.
Although Richardson never talked he undoubtedly brooded. The long shot Richardson Presidential bid certainly didn’t help Madame Clinton’s candidacy, but Thursday’s endorsement of Barack Obama undoubtedly cleared the account between Richardson and the Clintons. No other reason could explain the very nature of Richardson’s condemnation of the Clintons as well as his praise for Obama.
The impact was so adverse, undercutting the Clinton strategy of dividing black and Hispanic voters while simultaneously diminishing the Clinton claim that only Hillary had sufficient foreign policy experience to manage a dangerous world, that long time Clinton button man James Carville, upon observing the proximity of Richardson’s endorsement of Obama to date of the betrayal of Christ, labeled Richardson “Judas”.
While it will be hard to return to peace in the Democrat valley after that one, you know Richardson slept better last Thursday night that he has at anytime in the last ten years.