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Wag the Blog: Is Richardson Ready for Primetime?

While The Fix was in Iowa over the weekend, the Democrats attended a candidate forum out in Los Angeles. Sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign and the LOGO cable network, the event was hosted by singer Melissa Etheridge and devoted to the issues important to the gay, lesbian and transgender community.

As usual in these sort of events, the goal for the candidates is to make NO news. Unfortunately for Gov. Bill Richardson (N.M.), he committed a major blunder.

Asked whether homosexuality was a lifestyle choice or a biological predisposition, Richardson chose the former option -- a HUGE mistake when courting the gay community.

"To gays and lesbians, flubbing the choice-vs.-nature question is like botching the answer to 'What's one plus one?'" wrote Jonathan Capehart in Monday's Post. Capehart was similarly dismissive of the reasoning given for Richardson's flub -- that he was jetlagged. "Note to Richardson's current and former gay staffers and supporters: Do an intervention -- and get him an Ambien -- before he implodes again."

To his credit, Richardson's campaign released a statement clarifying his remarks shortly after they were made. "Let me be clear -- I do not believe that sexual orientation or gender identity happen by choice," said Richardson. "But I'm not a scientist, and the point I was trying to make is that no matter how it happens, we are all equal and should be treated that way under the law."

We've written before about Richardson's struggles with discipline on the campaign trail. It's the main reason why the Big 3 on the Democratic side (Clinton, Obama and Edwards) don't take Richardson all that seriously even though his poll numbers are improving in Iowa and New Hampshire.

For today's Wag the Blog question, we want to know whether this latest incident involving Richardson is nothing more than a slip of the tongue that will be immediately forgotten? Or is it indicative of a longer term problem of message discipline for the candidate?

Sound off in the comments section below. As always, we'll pick out the most thoughtful/insightful posts and feature them in a post of their own later this week.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 14, 2007; 9:29 AM ET
Categories:  Wag The Blog  
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Comments

I am gay.

As I was passing thru my mothers birth canal I saw a placard which made the gay option very appealing.

The placard said:

"This week only!
50% off on all homosexual options!
Twins save even more!
Choose early and avoid the rush!
Use your Macys Credit Card and save even more!
This offer won't last forever.


Gay options include:
-Earn more money than straight people.
-Spend more money than straight people.
-Be better looking than straight people
- Have a better body than straight people.
-Fabulous sense of humor
-Sarcastic wit
-Extensive memory of Broadway and Show Tunes
-All women want to marry you.
- Watch football or baseball games and enjoy the games AND the hot bodies.

-Be unable to serve your country
-Let Bush use you to get (re) elected.
-Live in one of 40-states where its legal to discriminate against you.
-Be the last social taboo
-Be unable to marry who you want
-Star in a GOP homophobic fundraising letter.
-The pope thinks you are evil by definition

Posted by: Bob North Smithfield | August 23, 2007 8:08 PM | Report abuse

he wasn't able to think fast enough on his feet when asked that question. The answer is obvious and I'm sure he knew right away he spoke in error. He is still my choice for President. He's got more experience than Bush ever did,,,being a governor doesn't mean you qualify as a president....I guess Bush has proved that.

Posted by: donna | August 23, 2007 3:33 AM | Report abuse

There are gaffes and there are "slips of the tongue," and there is a difference between the two.

Gaffes are errors (poor choice of words, etiquette lapses, etc.). Biden, we know, make them. John Kerry made one several months back regarding the need to be educated to avoid being sent to Iraq. We all knew what he meant, but how he said it came out wrong. Those are gaffes.

"Slips of the tongue" are another beast altogether. They express what we REALLY think, except that the conscious mind lost control for a split second. So I now know that Richardson deep down believes that homosexuality is a choice, no matter what he says from here on to explain the statement. I don't need another president or VP who ignores facts and scientific research. Richardson needs to stay in New Mexico.

Posted by: FemaleNick | August 22, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Richardson's slip of the tongue or gaffes whatever one wants to call them are pretty much majoring on the minors, at the end of the day its the actions we hold accountable. So far much of Richardson's passed political actions have all been reasonable and in the best interest of the people of his state and country. If we had a nickle for every U.S. President that made a slip or gaffe, we all be rich like Romneys, McCains, Clintons and Bushes. Lastly, if Richardson going to make it, his campaign will need to kick in high gear now, preparing position statements on every possible issue, orchestrating communications, and giving him the time to rest and prepare to perform for televised events (he still a Gov. of a State). Richardson also needs to just to project a relax style while on television - and keep it personal, keep it to the point and most of all get aggressive with the facts.

Posted by: threeriverscrossing | August 22, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The real import or Richardson's comment is the that he ignores all science and research. I expect that type of attitude from rabid evangelicals, but not a president. Regardless of the topic, the level of ignorance should not be forgotten. We've had 6 years of an administration that ignores facts and science; we can't afford another president who denies reality.

Posted by: Kathleen | August 22, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

we gays need to stop accepting the grudging, forced, partial entreaties and civil rights scraps thrown to us by ANY politician, including this crop of typical democracts. we also need to stop reacting so mildly to the treatment that we receive. like the blacks and others before us, we need to aggressively, angrily, forcefully demand our rights, like those appropriately emotionally charged LA demonstrators some years ago for those who remember.

Posted by: f | August 22, 2007 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Lust is a biological predisposition.

What you do about it is a lifestyle choice.

Posted by: Bill | August 21, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

ellen degeneres stated that her sexuallity was her choice.

Posted by: gary | August 21, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Re: the question of whether Richardson's mistake will stick.

I'm a gay Democratic activist, and I will never support John Edwards, who made it clear in a debate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2003 that he had no idea what the Defense of Marriage Act actually said. Any candidate that ill informed about one of the key issues affecting one of the key Democratic party consituencies has no business representing the party. It shows a complete lack of preparation that bodes poorly for that candidate. That's enough to cause me to withhold my vote. I also wouldn't vote for a candidate unable to master the essentials of a key issue for any other Democratic interest group (unions, women, minorities, etc.). Politicians at this level need to be up to the job, since their mistakes will cost them not just in the general election, but will cost the country should they be elected. I don't want a president too lazy to do his or her homework (yes, in reality, staff does that for the candidate, but the point still holds--need quality staff able to inform the politician properly on things that matter).

Such answers also demonstrate a lack of interest in the issues that matter to my particular interest group, which also speaks poorly to that candidate going to bat for me while in office.

So, yes, Richardson will pay a permanent penalty with the gay community for his gaffe, clarification notwithstanding. He demonstrated that he lacks preparation as a candidate, and he lacks commitment to and understanding of gay issues--so what does he have left to offer as a candidate for president?

Posted by: historian | August 20, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

These Democratic candidates, or perhaps I should say those who question them and the Republicans in the debates/forums, seem fixated on or obsessed with homosexuality and abortion. Life can be tough enough for alternative-lifestylers and those who've undergone the "procedure," so let's quit exploiting them as if they were sideshow freaks.

Posted by: Philip V. Riggio | August 16, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Why do you put Edwards in the top 3 considering he has no chance of winning the nomination?

Posted by: Nathan | August 16, 2007 12:31 AM | Report abuse

xbak, Kucinich should drop out before Richardson does. Richardson, Obama, Edwards, Biden, Dodd, Clinton are the "serious" candidates. I still would like to see Joe Biden catch on more... he's probably the most qualified of any of them.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 15, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

please Bill, you and Mike Gravel drop out just so that there will be no more Snow White and Seven Dwarfs.

of course then all the rest of the candidates have to stay in or we'll eventually be down to Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

If everyone drops out except Obama then we will have Beauty and the Beast... which one is which? :-P

Posted by: xbak | August 15, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

For those that think the race is over - HRC has won and Richardson is just running for Vice President: Richardson is polling in Iowa at the same level John Kerry was the summer of 2003 (and far ahead of where Edwards was four years ago who finished a surprising second). Remember, almost half of the Iowa caucus voters in 2004 didn't choose a candidate until less than a month before the election. In New Hampshire, Richardson is at 12%, only 3 points behind Edwards in the latest poll.

Richardson was the only Democrat aside from Obama to show an increase in donations in the 2Q over the 1Q 2007. He has strong organizations in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. He has enough money on hand to run competitive races in each of those states. HRC and Obama can't risk spending all their money on the early caucus/primary states or they'll have nothing for Super Tuesday on February 5th.

The only governor competing for the Democratic nomination, Richardson is uniquely positioned to win in November 2008. Over the past 30 years four governors have won the presidency. In the entire history of our nation, only two senators have accomplished that feat.

The dominant issue in the campaign for Democrats is the Iraq War. Of the top four Democratic candidates Richardson has the only crystal clear, unambiguous approach that most Democrats favor - a total withdraw of our forces. Richardson understands the path the US must take to get out of Iraq, and possesses the diplomatic background to see we leave without the regional descending into further chaos.

For the Senators our withdrawal will be a long and slow march. The intervention will continue for years to come. Once Democrats in Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire focus on the race and this particular issue, Richardson's poll numbers will further improve.

The bottom line: Assuming Gore doesn't run, Richardson is one of four persons in America that will be the Democratic nominee for President.

Posted by: Stephen Cassidy | August 15, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Richardson would be a good president if he can get through the primary, and he might make an ideal secretary of state for Obama. He would make a terrible vice president. Come on, that job is ceremonial and do-nothing. Ceremonial is what Bill R. is not, and he would not be able to keep his mouth shut and go along. The comment about being dumb reflects more on his independent-mindedness (and on the bias of whatever Clinton functionary was quoted there) than on Richardson's actual IQ.

Posted by: Viejita del oeste | August 15, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Richardson's slip is very unfortunate because he has fantastic experience. This isn't just an isolated event, however. Gov. Richardson, for all the experience he does have, is constantly defending and clarifying gaffes.

The "choice vs. biology" question has more consequences than some posters are considering. Gay males were the highest voting population in the 2004 and 2006 elections at over 90% and 80% turnout, respectively. GLBT voters make up 10% of the Democratic primary vote. Add those statistics together, and Richardson has damaged his chances of carrying primary states with sizable (and wealthy) GLBT votes like CA, FL, and CO. More importantly, he will not be receiving any campaign donations from the GLBT community.

He's left with scoring in NV, but his performance at the AFL-CIO forum has most likely hampered that effort, too. He'd still make a silent but solid Veep candidate.

Posted by: Ben G | August 15, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

This was a terribly unfortunate incident for the Governor who otherwise is a strong candidate. He will probably not be the nominee in 2008 from the Democratic side. However, if the republicans win in 2008 (Hillary or Obama will probably ensure a republican president in 2008) He'll be quite the candidate in 2012 should he stick to his guns and return to New Mexico after the convention

Posted by: Charlie | August 15, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I supported Richardson for a few months now, and have watch him do this multiple times. At the DC debate, I remember him floundering at a question about AIDS. From what I see, watching him say "it's a choice" over and over again on news media, he really thought he was giving them the correct answer, which is what's weird.

His mind just seems to wander, and under pressure he's never been as cool and collected as his opponents. He still has his record and the experienced candidate, which will keep him afloat. Anyways, talking about him like this just raises his profile.

Patrick

Posted by: Patrick | August 15, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"I do not know Ambassador Richardson at all. Have never met him in person but know someone who has, a person who briefed him almost daily when he was in the Cabinet under President Clinton. That person said he was just plain dumb."

I've never been sure that smarts matter in an executive position at the Governors level or higher. The important thing for executives is to surround yourself with the smartest people you can find. Then you get truly educated policy options. I can't say for sure, but it seems like Gov. Richardson has done this. By most accounts, he has been an effective executive in his state.

From many accounts I've read or heard, Bush is dumb and has mostly failed at being an effective executive because of he hasn't had good advisor's or ignored the good ones.

Posted by: JasonL | August 15, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Why should any candidate worry about courting any specific group? I know that I'm living in a dream world if I believe that candidates running for President should answer a question honestly without the fear of offending some special interest group. Whether homosexuality is a choice or not isn't going to fix our immigration problem or get us out of Iraq. I'm a democrat and a christian. I am not going to agree with every statement any candidate makes. Amerians need to toughen up and not get offended so easily.

Posted by: james | August 15, 2007 12:54 AM | Report abuse

If the LOGO debate were an isolated incident, we could write it off as an anomaly. However, we have also seen Richardson bombing out on "Meet The Press," looking uncomfortable and disjointed talking about diversity and needle exchange programs in the Tavis Smiley debate on PBS and generally suffering from foot-in-mouth disease in a way that makes even Joe Biden look good by comparison. As others have said, on paper Richardson looks like a great candidate. But one cannot win in this day and age with such a total lack of media skills. He seems unprepared on a consistent basis.

I would say that Richardson has no chance of being the Democratic nominee. The VP window is not totally closed, but at this point it has narrowed to a crack.

Posted by: Ogre Mage | August 15, 2007 12:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm also not a scientist... but last I heard, there was no evidence one way or another whether people were "born" gay or "chose" it.

The fascinating part here is that we all acknowledge that the "right" answer for him to give was that it is something you are born with, just because that happens to suit the position of the gay/lesbian community at the moment.

If Richardson doesn't know (and lets be honest - NO ONE actually KNOWS, despite their opinions), then he should just say "I don't know"...

Unfortunately for him, he was "jetlagged"... this sounds to me like at best he said what he really believes and was too tired to stick to his prescribed answers. If he does believe it is a choice (as plenty of gay people also believe btw) then once the cat was out of the bag, he should have stuck to his guns.

It would have gotten him more positive media than his back-flip on it... and realistically, how many votes will it cost him in the Primaries to believe it is a "born with" thing. Not many.

The advisors to these candidates should get the picture - FLIP FLOPS don't work. You're better off going hard for the argument you originally made... Obama is learning this lesson well.

Posted by: Tony Story | August 15, 2007 12:26 AM | Report abuse

I believe that Richardson's comments will not hurt him. He wasn't going to win the gay vote in the primaries anyway as it is pledged to Hillary and others. And, if he's the nominee, he won't lose it to Republicans as they would vote for anyone that has a "D" after their name against a Republican. In all likelihood, there are probably some on the democrat side that are kind of tired of the gay lobby pushing their agenda on the party. There may be some that are actually glad that not every candidate "got the memo" on what they were "supposed to say."

Posted by: Donald | August 15, 2007 12:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm emphatically Democratic, but I'm not happy with the big 3. I had hoped Richardson could emerge as an alternative down the road, but he's been completely underwhelming from the get go. Who's the only other 4th option? Dodd? No.

Biden is the only other option. He's solid. The electorate wants change. Obama supposedly offers that. But, Hillary is beating him up because she's "experienced."

America COULD be convinced to go with someone who's experienced and could bring change (pre-Bush, pre-Clinton). Biden's been around for a long time and is familiar with the way things were. (Cue Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford: "Memories") His marketing slogan could be about bringing leadership back to the good old days, without looking like Bob Dole.

Posted by: Jon | August 14, 2007 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Considering that very few people actually saw the gaffe, this doesn't have to be a Waterloo moment for the campaign. Richardson received enough blow-back that a smart politician would adjust debate prep to ensure a better performance at forums/debates. If he does that and beats future expectations, it is all upside.

The key thing is that none of the other Democratic candidates used the moment to frame Richardson. Unlike Clinton who hit Obama hard for his "naivete", no one has tried to use this moment to stick him with a negative image/persona. That is the most important thing to come from this whole weekend.

Posted by: Expat Teacher | August 14, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

This slip itself isn't problematic--it's the combination of this with the "maricón" moment on Imus, his implosion on "Meet the Press," the Whizzer White acknowledgment and the threat of a 2008 Olympics withdrawal..and it's now become a problem with long-term ramifications for his campaign. Are we to believe that he's been jet-lagged this entire time?

In the early debates, Bill Richardson repeated a story about Bill Clinton sending him to go toe-to-toe with some of world's "bad guys." It's that narrative that's really threatened by Richardson's repeated gaffes. When I saw him on "Meet the Press," my immediate thought was: how is it possible that this guy stood up to a dictator when he crumbles under the pressure of questions from Tim Russert? And now, he can't handle a perfectly straight-forward question from Melissa Etheridge? It just makes his diplomatic credentials hard to believe.

Posted by: nctodc | August 14, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

proud, and Jason L -

This is the first chance I have had to get back to this. Here is my take, subject to revision as I learn more - and proud, I have a question later in that regard.

I see long run significant military contributions for 1,4, [7, if we get our act together], and 9-11. I think it will be up to the Iraqis to fix 2,3,5,6,and 8, and I do not think they will, and whenever we stop tamping down the violence that will sort out in blood.

So I am convinced we have military and diplomatic work to do, especially on 9,10,11, but that we do not have to babysit Bagdad, or Basra, either. That, to me, just postpones the inevitable, at the cost of American lives.

Proud, what have you read that makes you think we are dealing with the Shia in the south, or confronting the Mehdi Army?

Jason, I assume that we have national security interests involved in helping Iraqis fight Al Qaeda and in keeping the Kurds and Turks happy with each other and with us. I think that is why we cannot follow Richardson's advice.

I also think we have national security interests involved in talking to Iran and Syria - and not continuing to be Iran's strong right arm of foreign policy [we destroyed their 2 most significant enemies, the Taliban and Saddam for them, and they do not appear grateful].

I am not understanding why we would have national security interests involved in keeping the Sunnis and Shias forcibly apart from each others' throats, unless it was the only way to keep the Saudis and Iran from having a war that would devastate oil flows from their two countries. I know, I sound like Cheney about that, but it is a fact of life and on the ground.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 14, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Richardson's "pull out immediately" Iraq stance seems to be a pitchman's attempt for attention, and throws into question his judgment on the most important campaign issue.

And, the "lifestyle choice" answer arouses suspicions that he is either clueless, or, that he is stuck in punishing-sterotype gear.

Rather than improving with each debate, Richardson performances have been like watching a flame slowly flickering out.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 14, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it definitely was a gaffe, but in the
long run we really need someone who can attract independant and republican leaning votes in western and southern states. I cannot think of any of the POTUS candidates who can do this. Yes there is Edwards, but he wasn't able to help Kerry at all.

Also, isn't it refreshing to have a candidate who is human and who is quick to admit he made a mistake. As others have pointed out he is not as quick witted as Biden or Dodd is, but look at their campaigns. They are not successful. They aren't bringing any money in, no advertising and they don't seem to have successful ground organizations. No staff shakeups with Richardson's campaign. And look at how efficiently he is using his campaign dollars. They are always in the black. Richardson's a good executive, he is doing a good job running New Mexico, his campaign is making progress despite his poor debate performances and gaffes. If he manages the country as well as he has manages his campaign and campaign staff, we'll be better off. Just remmember what an executive is, they manage: listen to counsel and make final decisions. They are not publicity reps. Others do that work for him.

Political enthusiasts not withstanding, if the american people wanted someone who was good at debating and quick on his feet, Gore would have won with a landslide. But
when it comes to the popular election,
it really comes down to personality. The average voter is very suspicious of know-it-alls, I like Hilary a lot, but if she wins the nomination we will be crushed in the general election if the republicans nominate someone who personable and down to earth.

Richardson's idea on using the Olympics as leverage is a good one. Its a creative solution and will probably be very effective on a country where international status is longed for. They (china) will save face if it comes down to having the olymics or not.

I still support Governor Richardson. Give him some time, he'll get better on the stage.

Posted by: WesternNYGeologist | August 14, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I do not know Ambassador Richardson at all. Have never met him in person but know someone who has, a person who briefed him almost daily when he was in the Cabinet under President Clinton. That person said he was just plain dumb.

I think Richardson is running for VP, he certainly has the best resume. But resumes do not really show talent, only former positions. Former CEO of HOme Depot, Bob Nardelli, has a great resume but he is a horrible CEO.

Bottom line for me: everyone has warts, some do a better job of hiding them and the press does a better job of finding them on some than others. Ambassador Richardson makes finding his warts too easy.

I don't think he has what it takes to be President and hope Hillary does not pick him to be Vice President.

Posted by: Joseph | August 14, 2007 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I still don't know why the media insists on calling these things 'debates'. There is no debate, no real discussion, nothing. All we get are candidates spitting out the same freaking canned answers week after week. The media only reports the goofs to keep viewers' attention.

Posted by: Anndeegh | August 14, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Eric,

Richardson comment about Darfur was not a mis-statement as the "Choice" issue was. Bill's undertanding of the pressure on the Chinese was astute. The Chinese are using the 2008 Olympics as their debutante ball for entry in the family of nations. They want NOTHING to diminish their accomplishments in Beijing.

The US has little leverage over Chinese support for the Sudanese government. We cannot break the trade issues and their hold on trillions of dollars in foriegn reserves. But they are very sensitive to style and symbolism. The 'threat' of a boycott of the Olympics may be one of our strongest levers against their support of Sudan.

On the "choice" statement, there are several issues...jet lag being a small part of it. If you look at the governors' campaign schedule in IA or NH he's doing 6-9 events a day, lot's of travel and bad food. Secondly, isn't refreshing for a candidate to express an "I don't really know"? Rather than a canned by the campaign statement.

I think that his performances on the debates have been mediocre, but only the 'politcal class' is watching. The general public will only start being aware in Nov or Dec....hopefully, he'll be more polished than he has been.

Posted by: Skinsfanbu | August 14, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

"Could Joe Biden replace Bill Richardson as the candidate with the lengthy resume and foreign policy experience but a sharper focus, especially in the debates?"

The top two VP candidates right now. Unless Gore mans up

Posted by: JKRish | August 14, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

First of all, I'm not convinced Richardson's answer was all that far off; the scientific discussion over causes of homsexuality are far from settled, and to the extent the term refers to behavior, there is definitely choice involved. But if that's what Richardson wanted to say, he didn't do a good job of it.

This isn't the first time Richardson has blown a debate. The most bizarre answer I heard him give is boycotting the Olympics as a way of ending genocide in Darfur. Tbat's absolutely bizarre, depite Richardson's strong foreign-policy credentials.

Because of Richardson's strong resume, I was a supporter of him before the debates began. But now I almost cringe to watch him.

Posted by: Eric | August 14, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Could Joe Biden replace Bill Richardson as the candidate with the lengthy resume and foreign policy experience but a sharper focus, especially in the debates?

Posted by: The 7-10 | August 14, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

From the Hitchens' article - "The third assumption, deriving from the first two, would be that if coalition forces withdrew, the AQM gangsters would lose their raison d'être and have nothing left to fight for. I think I shall just leave that assumption lying where it belongs: on the damp floor of whatever asylum it is where foolish and wishful opinions find their eventual home."

Thanks for the solid insight refuting the assumption.

Hitchens, a genius in his own mind.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Blarg: I get a kick out of reading some of the comments that are so ridiculos, they tend to be funny. I happen to have worked closely with Time Study in a steel/iron foundry, which had a lot of "piece work" involved and my job title was "Timekeeper". Most of the "data" was already there, a stop watch and a little commen sense judgement was all that was required. Many refer to them as "Efficiancy experts", since they are so simular.

Posted by: lylepink | August 14, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Proud, for linking me to the article. I'm not sure I agree with every conclusion drawn from the evidence but it is food for thought.

One thing that interests me, though, is that he acknowledges that even other Sunni's don't agree with the methods used by AQM. However, it was noted in an article in the WaPo last week that when some US soldiers ended up in between some Sunni's and Shiite's fighting each other, both turned their weapons towards the the US soldiers. I find it hard to believe that this is a unique experience. The only thing that bands many Iraqi's together seems to be hatred for the "occupying forces." The Slate article fails to examine what might happen if these groups didn't have the US to cleave them together.

Maybe they'll both turn their attention to AQM. Maybe they'll have a civil war. Is either of them worse than what's going on right now?

I believe I should have been more clear in my previous post. I didn't mean to say or imply that AQM would melt away, my main point was that, without America there, their recruitment might falter. Without steady recruitment, perhaps the militia's, insurgents, and Iraqi state forces could succeed where we haven't.

Posted by: JasonL | August 14, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Finally. I've been waiting. Now they fear us. It took a couple years. It took countless lies to try and convince us. Guess what? We believe our eyes, not what liars who have every reason to lie, tell us.

I feared O'Reilly/Rush/Hannity for their lies and lunicy. I thoguht they controled the world. They did for a spell. Now they only control THEIR dittoheads. I can live with that, as long as truth is being heard. Let the willfully ignorant live in their caves of disillusionment.

What I will do is marginalize you. i WILL tell people you are lying and how. And do you know what you will do GOp'ers? Do yo uknow what you will be left with?

Attacking the messanger. Attacking every truth that WE present.


I hope so. Attacking truths with lies is impossible. I like to watch you lying fascsits try though. It only digs your holes deeper. All independant thinkers now know the truth. You have a year and a hlaf GOP. That's it. Use that time fixing the disaster you cause, rather than lie spin misdirect discredit.

Fascsits.

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"They are so much alike here that it is fascinating! Is insanity contageous? Do whack jobs all think alike? Or, are they the same person. I don't know, but it's something to watch for. Sort of like studying bugs."

rEMEMBER THE BORG IN STAR TREK? One brain they all share. They all know what each other know's, no more no less. Parrots. DITTOHEADS. HAHAHAHA

You are the man mike. You know they fear us. If not why would thye waste theyir days trying to lie and discredit us and those like us. Fear. FEAR.

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I'll respond to reason's question, even if I'm not a fan of the contents of his/her post...

No, I don't believe that Richardson believes people do choose their sexual orientation. I believe that Richardson believes people are FREE to choose their sexual orientation. That is, if they are gay for whatever reason--they were born that way; something traumatic happened in their childhood; or, doggonit, they just want to be gay--they are free to be gay and still have the same rights as everyone else. My best guess is that the reason why people are gay doesn't really matter to him, freedom and equality does, which is why he missed the point of the question.

As for the rest of reason's post, I don't think it's fair to compare acting on sexual impulses in general to engaging in homosexual sex. A straight person might have a passing desire to have sex with someone who is not his/her spouse, but it's not like gay people just have some passing desire to have sex with someome of their own gender, then go back to being regular heterosexuals when that itch is scratched. People who are gay are attracted to members of their own gender. The only comparison between homosexuality and adultery is if a gay person engages in sex with someone who is not his/her committed partner.

As far as homosexuality, or for that matter adultery or porn or any of the things mentioned in that post being "wrong against nature", these things are bviously completely natural because they happen in nature. "Wrong" is just your judgement call. Feel free to judge people by whatever criteria you like, so long as you don't try to legislate away people's freedom based on your personal judgement call.

Posted by: Artie | August 14, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Despite the claims that it was simply a slip of the tongue, a brief mental lapse, an accidental verbal misstep, I can't help but feel it wasn't. If I were one to advise Gov. Richardson (which I'm not), I would suggest that he find way to casually misspeak, or to purposefully give the wrong response to something that many people may find trivial, and then simultaneously wait for press coverage and release a written statement clarifying the statement. It gets the community in question discussing it, the press covers it because it seems like a bone headed thing to say, then the public at large (along with the community in question) discuss it further once the clarification has been made. While I wouldn't exactly call the readers of The Fix mainstream (in every way), if we have over 130 posts about this 'issue', it stands to reason that there are scores more who are discussing it among themselves.

If that is what their overarching plan was, then I applaud them.

Posted by: Eric C. | August 14, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

JasonL - On a previous thread, JD posted a link to a very interesting piece by Hitchens in Slate today. I recommend checking it out and see if it addresses some of your what-if and we-won't-know-unless-we-try scenarios.

http://www.slate.com/id/2172152/nav/tap2/

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 14, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

MikeB your don't appear to be very good at observation and analysis for an engineer.

Posted by: Your Mirror | August 14, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone think, that in his heart, Richardson believes people do choose their sexual orientation? I, personally, believe that it's controlled genetics. I think that if a person perceives themself to like men or women, then that will come to be. I believe homosexuality is indeed a mental condition, as the military believes. They may have urges, but they are, however badly liberals want to perceive them as uncontrollable, indeed controllable. For instance, if I want to go out and sleep with 10 women because I think their hot but have a wife, can I control if I do it or not? Sure I can. Would it be wrong for me to go out and sleep with all 10 women? You bet ya it would, it's called adultery. Is it wrong and against nature for 2 men or 2 women to engage in sexual acts with one another? Sure it is. It's against nature in it's purest form, and like divorce (mr. Guiliani), adultery (Mr. Vitter, Guiliani, Clinton, ect.), strip clubs (Fred Thompson and prolly half of congress), internet porn, fornication and beastiality, undermine marriage the way it is intended to be according to the Bible which I live for and follow. So in essence, I believe, Richardson's statement likely reveals his true belief, not his political answer. Is it wrong? I think some people may have genetic urges toward homosexuality, but they still choose at the end of the day whether to act in righteousness or sin.

Posted by: reason | August 14, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Blarg - No. Go look at KOZ's whining posts over the past year or so, where he wheedles and whines about something. It usually involves an apology for some perceived wrong. Just as often, he posts once under his own name and answers it with a post under an assumed name. Now, go back over the last few days and look at lylepinks posts. He/she/it wheedles, whines, accuses, and pops up, usually anonymously but evidentl as "mirror" today, as if it was some sort of mass movement. They are so much alike here that it is fascinating! Is insanity contageous? Do whack jobs all think alike? Or, are they the same person. I don't know, but it's something to watch for. Sort of like studying bugs.

Posted by: MikeB | August 14, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Dear Not Rufus in South Carolina,

I wish I had those kind of computer hacking skills, but South Carolina was a lucky-though somewhat educated guess for your location. A political minority tends to exaggerate and vilify the negative attributes of the political majority where they live. A conservative living in Cleveland thinks dems are trying to create a people's republic of Ohio. A liberal in South Carolina thinks repubs are trying to create a Christian caliphate. (Your fundamentalist Christian phobia pegged you somewhere between Virginia and Georgia). My point is both are delusional and not helpful to productive political discussion.

Also, the only way the dems lose this next election is if they run Clinton. The Presidential election is all about turning states red or blue. I can't find a single state that went red in the Bush elections that Clinton could turn blue. The sad thing is Hillary would probably be a better president than the other dems running against her.

Posted by: Dave | August 14, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Rufus, my post was clearly addressed to someone who posted as "Look in the Mirror, MikeB". You replied with a 3-paragraph rant, followed by a 7-paragraph rant, without making the slightest effort to understand what I said. Not everything is about you."

Who are these people? What planet are you living on? Making rules and playing games with yourself much? I got a game for you. Post your post. Challange any "lies" or propoganda you see. If you can't do that independant thinkers should conclude WE are telling the truth. I'm here to combat lies and propoganda daily. Why are you heard? To propogate and lie daily?

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Say what you want about Richardson, but he's the only Democratic executive running to head the executive branch.

Posted by: jojo | August 14, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to throw in my 2 cents on these, if you don't mind.
1. Al Qaeda in Iraq.
We made them, we need to fix 'em. Killing them only seems to further their recruitment. I think a staged pull out may be the only way to reduce their impetus to be there, thereby reducing their presence. I can't say that it would actually work but we won't know if we don't try.

2. Shia 3 way war in the south as the Brits leave.
3. Sunni - Shia war in and around Bagdad.
4. Turk - Kurd tension in the north.
These are difficult since they result from fueds that are centuries old. Some generals, retired and active, as well as political scientists believe that, without Saddam's stabilizing force (didn't think you'd ever hear that, did you?), this civil war is inevitable. Our presence is merely delaying or slowing it.

5. Bad weak central government.
6. Sucky infrastructure.
7. Wasted money, lost weapons, and the like.
8. Mehdi Army.
9. Iran meddling, offering weapons.
10. Saudi support for Sunni insurgents.
11. Syrian support for Sunni insurgents and
pestering Kurds, too.
All of these issues are directly or indirectly caused by the continuing fighting. If a pull out ends the fighting then these may improve. If it causes total civil war, then it'll be worse until someone wins. Then it might finally get better. Continued troop presence seems unlikely to solve any of these problems.

12. Oil is in the north and south not the middle.
You know, I've always been a big fan of state control of business. Many nations in Europe and South America are able to provide a great deal of services at a lower tax rate because the government runs telecom or energy businesses. Government run oil fields would be able to evenly distribute the profits among everyone.
---

Last year, I would have never thought I'd be on the pull all our troops out side of the debate. Maybe it's just war weariness and frustration talking now, but I just don't see things getting better in Iraq and they're definitely getting worse in Afghanistan. When one tactic (troop surge) fails as I think we'll here in Sept. from Gen. Petraus, you have to try something new.

We can all agree that all we want is a safer America. I think we need to play around with the overall strategy in Iraq and see what moves when we nudge.

Posted by: JasonL | August 14, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Justify your fake existance any way you want. I would perfer you fascsits to just ignore me, and let me work.

The games people play. Tsst Tsst Tsst.

We are all political pros. We are all contributing to the polticcal process. One side is involved and helping, one side is not involved and only goal is to divide and conquer lie spin discredit propogate parrot. Any independant thinker can see who is who and what is what. Thus, your party is on the verge of irrelevance. I laugh at you fascsits HAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I can easily change my post name to JKRsih without much ado :).

"A ROse by any other name"

Don't fear rufus. Rufus is an anonymous poster. Either you agree with him of not. At least independant thinkers can read and see what the gop is about and the games they play. Lie spin discredit. That's all you people got. Without that you are eliminated from politics. Oppps. To late.

Posted by: Rufus | August 14, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

MikeB: Lylepink is KOZ? Are you insane? The two aren't even remotely similar, except that on occasion they've both disagreed with you.

Rufus, my post was clearly addressed to someone who posted as "Look in the Mirror, MikeB". You replied with a 3-paragraph rant, followed by a 7-paragraph rant, without making the slightest effort to understand what I said. Not everything is about you.

Which brings me to Mirror. I'd like to respond to you, but unfortunately my business card says Engineer on it. So I guess I'd better leave this site forever, because according to you I shouldn't care about politics. And you know what you talk about, because you're a "pro", right?

Posted by: Blarg | August 14, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

That post wasn't me. I'm scaring the fascsits do much they must use my name, post garbage, then fight the garbage. Fascsits.

I must really be scaring you people huh? Why? Truth? do your thing. I'll continue to call out you. YOu can't stop me.

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"Thats it I quit. You peopel are so stupid and ar beyond hope. You will be sory for yourselfs when the NAzi FaSCISTs are nocking on your doors in the middl of the nite."

Not me. What's up chrsi. I thought you were putting a block on fascsits using other people' id's. I must be scaring you fascists

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

MikeB these look familiar to me from what I see of you:

(1)A pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control, at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts

(a) is preoccupied with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the extent that the major point of the activity is lost

(b) is excessively devoted to work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships (not accounted for by obvious economic necessity)

(c) is overconscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics, or values (not accounted for by cultural or religious identification)

(d) is reluctant to delegate tasks or to work with others unless they submit to exactly his or her way of doing things

(e) shows rigidity and stubbornness

Want to know my source, beyond daily observation?

Posted by: MikeB's Mirror | August 14, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

In all the debates, interviews, and other televised appearances I have watched that involved Richardson, I have never come away with the sense that the man has any poise. It seems as though he is constantly bumbling and he often has this pained look on his face.

Posted by: Janine | August 14, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget Richardson's poor performance on Meet the Press.
Richardson lacks the ability to answer a question straightforwardly. Instead of answering a question, he will tell you about his experience as governor.
That's why he fails at these debates.
He just gives his canned talking points.
In this case, he had no canned talking point for the question, and so he fumbled around for a while.

Unfortunately, there is no possibility for him as Pres or VP.

Posted by: Matt | August 14, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP says "With a stronger defense, a determined diplomacy, and greater U.S. economic and cultural influence, the next president can start to build a lasting, realistic peace."

To which I would say:
Every president since FDR, with the exception of Bill Clinton, has EXPANDED the military. It is by any measure the strongest - by far - in the world. In re: "a determined diplomacy, and greater U.S. economic and cultural influence" - I agree. It would have been nice had those also been priorities of the current administration.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 14, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

rufus, Don't quit. I think I've figured it out. lylepink is KOZ who is mirror. At least the logic is the same. Maybe we're on to something here? Clinton and Bush supporters think alike. Is it some sort of mental illness or are they both simply equally stupid?

Posted by: MikeB | August 14, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Odd statements and Bill Richardson live in the same space.

For several years Richardson's resume contained a claim that he played professional baseball for the California Angels (now the Los Angeles Angels)

When his claim was unmasked as "a big fib" by a reporter who simply contacted the team for verification, Richardson "apologized" but offered no logical explanation for making such an easily disproven claim.

He told reporters: "The Angels scouted me but never drafted me"

Huh?

Playing "fast and loose" with the facts has become his forte and it dooms his candidacy and his chance of becoming VP

While he may believe gay people "choose" to be gay--(a strange belief indeed) his clumsy attempt to explain his reasoning, is yet another example of being too cute by half.

(Do you hear me Mitt?)


Posted by: Bob North Smithfield | August 14, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Mark - Interesting list. I think 1-4 and 8-11 can be and are being dealt with militarily. Inasmuch as our presence helps thwart problems in the north from becoming a larger conflict between the Kurds and The Turks, I believe the Kurds welcome our continued presence, and we'll need a footprint up there for years to come.

Also, inasmuch as the military has limited access betweeen sects in some of the hot urban areas, we are having some success in mitigating sectarian killings. Insurgents are being dealt a blow by Petraeus' tactics and with his diplomatic efforts with P.M. Maliki.

I agree with you that we can deal with some, but not others on the list. The military has been stretched, to say the least, but is continuing to work in areas of reconstruction and localized practical solutions to may life better for Iraqis. This continues to go unreported.

The difficult nature of diplomatic work in a region of the world with centuries-old conflicts and scars of authoritarian control does not negate the possibility of success. As Amb. Crocker has stated,
"The longer I am here, the more I am persuaded that progress in Iraq cannot be analyzed solely in terms of these discreet, precisely defined benchmarks because, in many cases, these benchmarks do not serve as reliable measures of everything that is important,"

Petraeus' assessment in Sept. will be objective, I believe, as he is an extermely honorable man and an excellent military leader. I hope that more Iraqi leaders step up to the plate in the time we are giving them.

Petraeus: "The importance of sober assessments -- and, by implication, of shedding the rose-tinted view of the war that has strained Congress's patience with Iraq commanders in the past -- has been one of his themes. Talking to American officers this summer during a counterinsurgency course at Taji, 15 miles north of Baghdad, he put it squarely. "We need forthright reports. We're not trying to sugarcoat things, or put lipstick on a pig, or anything like that."

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/14/world/middleeast/14petraeus.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 14, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Thats it I quit. You peopel are so stupid and ar beyond hope. You will be sory for yourselfs when the NAzi FaSCISTs are nocking on your doors in the middl of the nite.

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

MAybe that's why the gop NEEDS us silenced. If people are out here calling these fascsits for what they are how can they sit on their thrones as judge and jury of public opinion.

We flipped the scrip successfully. Bill O'Reilly and the media police? WOW. YOu people have nerve, I'll give you that. "I know you are but what am I" will only work with your dittoheads, and only for so longer. Eventually you will need to provide substance to your lies and propoganda. Is the gop doing that?

Again, gop'ers you love to bad mouth me and others. You love to tell us that we are misled. I will make it easy for all independant thinkers to see what the gop is about. Your refusal to answer will be deafening.

WHAT HAS GEORGE BUSH AND THE GOP DONE RIGHT IN 15 YEARS?

Should be easy. YOu people come in here and defend the fascsits daily. Why? What is worth defending? What has bush done right since he took office (and no atttacks doesn't count to a man that see's his saudi ties)? I have asked this before and never got an answer.

And you people think you are going to win an election? How? By being on the wrong ide of every issue imaginable? And your going to win the american vote. WOW. Dream-time is over. Get out of the rabbit hole. Come back to reality. Start by helping the rest of us understand who you could not only support, but day after day defend a man and a party that HAVE DONE NOTHING RIGHT IN 15 YEARS?

Now continue. I saved who I needed to save today. Your attacks on me are a joke. I laugh at the incompetant and out of touch. So sad so sad. Living in 1962 looking like a JFK clone. The year is 2007. Join humanity or get left in the dust. I perfer the latter. Less sabotage.

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

""Look in the Mirror", that's asinine. Leave politics to the pros? "

Is this directed at me? I've said I'm for all the fascsits being able to say what they want. Unlike the gop'ers I do not try and silence or pull off the air any and everything I disagree with ( although fox's conflict of interests such strip their "press creditials")

I want you all to speak. Just don't get mad when I or others call out your lies. There is the differance. The GOP would silence Rosie/churchill/the daily kos, we all just want the right to speak. This plays to you fascists telling others how to blog and who to ignore. Firckin republcian fascsits.

That is the differance. You peopel want to silence any and everybody taht disagree's. Liberals want you to have the right to speak but confront you on you rlies. Democracy and fascsism. What side are you one. All gop'ers please hole your answers. Your intentions are in your actions. Fascsit sell-out traitors.

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure lylepink will accept your apology when you admit to being wrong, MikeB.

Posted by: Your Mirror | August 14, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

"You think it's a good thing for scientific-minded people to stay out of politics?"

Not scientific-minded people. People whose professional discipline is science.

They can't handle the non-Scientific Method of politics.

And I have every right to say that. Remember the First Amendment?

Posted by: MikeB's Mirror | August 14, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Here is an analysis run by the Heritage Foundation when they reviewed the Bush-Clinton-Kennedy amnesty proposal that was just defeated. Note, their estimate is "at least 2.6 trillion dollars". http://www.heritage.org/Research/Immigration/wm1490.cfm

The various states run reports (check for these on the web) and those cost estimates, direct taxpayer subsidies for illegals and programs serving them, run between 75 and 150 billion dollars annnually. These do not take into consideration federal costs and indirect costs, such as fraud due to identity theft, unrecoverable medical expenses and criminal activities, etc.

Similar studies by FAIR, the Fredom Foundation,the Center For Immigrant Studies, put the per U.S. household cost of illegal immigrants at somewhere between 120 billion dollars and 1 trillion dollars annually. Whichever set of figures you take, the *net* per native household cost for U.S. citizens is between $4025, on the low end, and $18,000 per year. THAT is a lot of money.

lylepink, spend some time reading and studying before you blather on with attacks that have no more substance than name calling. You are an idiot, a typical Clinton supporter, that uses emotional outbursts, tantrums, and sloagans, instead of common sense and rational thought.

Posted by: MikeB | August 14, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Proud, You and I are on Ruf's special list.

I asked Aggie Marine Mike to engage with me about this a few days ago, and he did. Now I am asking you.

I see the following problems in Iraq, in no particular order.

1. Al Qaeda in Iraq.
2. Shia 3 way war in the south as the Brits leave.
3. Sunni - Shia war in and around Bagdad.
4. Turk - Kurd tension in the north.
5. Bad weak central government.
6. Sucky infrastructure.
7. Wasted money, lost weapons, and the like.
8. Mehdi Army.
9. Iran meddling, offering weapons.
10. Saudi support for Sunni insurgents.
11. Syrian support for Sunni insurgents and
pestering Kurds, too.
12. Oil is in the north and south not the middle.
13., 14., and 15. - for you to add.

Which ones do you think we can deal with
militarily? Diplomatically? Not at all?
Are you equating "national security" with successfully dealing with all of these issues?
I think we can deal with some, but not others.
I know you have thought about this. But when we exchange ides, you often read like this is an all-or-nothing proposition. Is that what you think?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 14, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

C'mon think people. I'm saddened by at all the negatives heaped on Gov Richardson. Look, a gaffe is a gaffe, and judging by the large books full of gaffes by Reagan & GWB, only our side -- Dems -- really give a damn about such things. Just like the Dean howl & the Edwards haircut, you people are stampeding yourselves into the hands of the right-wing noise machine.

This gaffe changes nothing. I'd still take Gov Richardson over Rudy, McCain, Romney, et al, in a heartbeat.

Posted by: Scott in PacNW | August 14, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"Look in the Mirror", that's asinine. Leave politics to the pros? How many pros do you think post on this blog? Are you a pro? There are few people here, if any, who are professionally involved in politics. Almost all of us are interested amateurs, like MikeB. And MikeB is not the only scientist or engineer on this site. Should we all go away?

You think it's a good thing for scientific-minded people to stay out of politics? That's the mindset that gives us Republican candidates who raise their hands to say they don't believe in evolution. That's the mindset of President Bush, who thinks that his political beliefs can trump science. (Abstinence-only education is good politically, so it must be sound science. Global warming is bad politically, so it must not exist.) That's what you're endorsing?

Disagree with MikeB all you want. But you have no right to say who should and shouldn't care about politics.

Posted by: Blarg | August 14, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

On the other hand, can you imagine another scenario in which we would still be talking and writing about Gov Richardson this week? Perhaps a brilliant piece of political jujitsu.

Posted by: SHR | August 14, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_cave

"Once enlightened, so to speak, the freed prisoner would not want to return to the cave to free "his fellow bondsmen," but would be compelled to do so. Another problem lies in the other prisoners not wanting to be freed: descending back into the cave would require that the freed prisoner's eyes adjust again, and for a time, he would be one of the ones identifying shapes on the wall. His eyes would be swamped by the darkness, and would take time to become acclimated. Therefore, he would not be able to identify the shapes on the wall as well as the other prisoners, making it seem as if his being taken to the surface completely ruined his eyesight. (The Republic bk. VII, 516b-c; trans. Paul Shorey).[2]"

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

To follow up on some other comments...

On pulling the troops out in 6 months, one poster claimed that Richardson's plan is just to pull the troops out and that solves everything. Actually, his position is that we can't make progress UNTIL we take our troops out. That's when the diplomacy can begin, when their country isn't being occupied by a foreign force.

On showing that he's genuinely friendly to the GLBT community, the one point he DID make in his otherwise disastrous LOGO performance was that people should look at his record. Indeed, the best way to judge how a candidate will perform in office is to look at what they have done in the past. And Richardson has an excellent record on GLBT issues. Unfortunately, he just had a brain fart when he heard the word "choice" and instantly thought, "hey, everybody's in favor of choice! I'll say 'choice'!"

Posted by: Artie | August 14, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Like clock work. I'm trying to help you sell-outs and you resort to middle school games. Go ahead. Just don't tell others how to post. All independant thinkers see who are the liars/propogandists and who are trying to help others grow.

Fear me if you must. Just know the fear YOU feel has nothing to do with ME. You gop'ers are scared of your own shadow. YOur scared the sun MAY not rise in the morning. You life your life on second by second fear. And I'm the crazy one? You gop'ers are a lost casue. Good thing your children are smarter and not racist fascists like you. The future is now. You had you chance old people/gop. Now step aside and let you children and grandchildren fix the mess you have got us into. We not help instead of throwing your children and grandchildren under the bus with debt YOUR never going to have to pay back. JUst reep the benifiets gop. We'll pay it back. Your children will cash the checks you are writing right now. My goal is to stop you people from writing checks with no beneifit to the country. Sell-outs, you only care about yourselves and your money. Screw the future, screw the world, sscrew the children, right gop.

Good thing independant thinkers think you old cow folk are a joke now. Your movement doesnt't have much time left. Use your time wisely of face the repercussions

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Lylepink shows far more logic in his positions than you.

Engineers would be better off not dabbling in politics. You can't accept that the Body Politic is an unbounded set of ever-changing individuals not subject to the Laws of Science. You'll always be frustrated with politics, if it isn't immigration it will be somethingelse.

Save yourself the ulcers and stick with science. Leave politics to the pros.

Posted by: Look in the Mirror MikeB | August 14, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

"The cage you are in is imaginary."

rufus, we can only hope the padded cell you're in is real.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

MikeB you need to apologize for all of the incorrect things you've accused lylepink of being!

Remember, you were going to research what he's said he is. Strange that we never heard back from you isn't it. Or is it?

Your stats are normally shot down as a matter of course, and your personal accusations must have been incorrect. I'd say you owe lylepink an apology.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

anon idiot, August 14, 2007 01:25 PM - ...apologize to lylepink? For being another idiot? For being so deluded as to be a Clinton supporter? For being so illiterate as not be able to read a plain English language post? For purposefully distorting what others say? Apologize? Not in this lifetime!

Posted by: MikeB | August 14, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Any chance that Richardson had of being Hillary's running mate died with his poor choice. By making himself a lightning rod of controversy for one important constituent group he guaranteed that Hillary will look elsewhere.

Posted by: Michigan Mike | August 14, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"In contrast, Hillary and the seven dwarves have strayed too far to the left, and are on a path to lose the next election because of it. "

We'll see won't we. Do you have amnesia? Were you living in a cave during the 06 elections?

The people rejected fascism. Have things gotten better or worse for the gop since 06? WOrse? Ok then. YOu claim is either a lie or a joke. Which is it?

Your party WILL be eliminated from the political landscape for a generation. It's not the liberals fault, it's not the media (because you thin k they should eb lying and propogating daily like fox). IT'S THE WAY YOU PEOPLE GOVERN. YOu want to balme someone look in the mirror. What have you people done right. Seriously. How can you say the gop will get elected when they have done nothing right for 15 years? Are you typing from a cave right now? HEEEELLLOO.

I'll assume you are not stupid but dylusional. To much propoganda for to long. Only you can break the cycle old man. The cage you are in is imaginary. You are only a slave if you choose to be

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Richardson has an impressive resume that makes him seem like he's well suited to be President. However, he is the gaffe king of this campaign so far. From the answer on Supreme Court Justices where he invoked the name of Byron "Whizzer" White, to this. He is an unrefined candidate, lacking the polish of the top tier. My primary concern with Richardson is that he has tended to put forth pie in the sky solutions to problems while saying he's a pragmatist. His one-point plan for Iraq is an impossibility, and the MoveOn.org virtual town hall on energy was revealing. It seemed like he inflated the expectations of his plan to play better for the environmental crowd. I think he panders, and I think we need more than that out of our candidate.

Posted by: Joe Bowen | August 14, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Actions speak louder than words. Sure, what Bill Richardson said was wrong, and he quickly moved to rectify that. But let's not judge a candidate on what he/she says, because grand statements aren't enough to get the job done. Let's look instead at Bill Richardson's record as Governor of New Mexio.

1. Expanded anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation. [Senate Bill SB 28, 2003 Legislature]
2. Signed into law the state's first hate crimes legislation for acts including those based on sexual orientation. [SB 38, 2003 Legislature]
3. Provided state health insurance for domestic partnerships. [Executive Order 03 010]
4. Signed the Billy Griego HIV and AIDS Act, which was designed to ensure that consumers are the focus of the funding and services provided in all the state's HIV and AIDS cases. [Senate Bill 314, 2005 Legislature]
5. Created the state's first HIV and AIDS Policy Commission charged with reviewing and making recommendations on state HIV and AIDS policies. The commission also studies and makes recommendations on all factors affecting the availability, quality and accessibility of health services for persons with HIV and AIDS. [Senate Bill 313, 2005 Legislature]
6. Called a Special Session of the NM State Legislature to push for Domestic Partnerships Legislation, among other issues, after it failed by one vote in the Senate during the Regular Session. Governor Richardson has pledged to push for the legislation again during the next Legislative Session.

Bill Richardson has also promised that he'd repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Given his record of action on behalf of the LGBT community, I believe that's a promise Bill Richardson will deliver on.

Posted by: Ken Camp | August 14, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP, I 've been waiting a long time for a Seven Dwarves reference. You win the prize.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Richardson still hasn't answered a 3-sylyble question: Wen Ho Lee.

Posted by: CAS | August 14, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"When you go to the drugstore late at night searching for something to help your baby stop coughing"

A drug dealer. I should have known. Mark from austin comes here to make sure he can continue to squeeze out the american worker and give business to the south east. We got the drug companies represented. Defense contractors? Zouk?

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

MikeB, when are you going to apologize to lylepink?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"The 9/11 generation has learned from the history of the twentieth century that America must not turn a blind eye to gathering storms. We must base our trust on the actions, rather than the words, of others. And we must be on guard against overpromising and underdelivering. Above all, we have learned that evil must be confronted -- not appeased -- because only principled strength can lead to a realistic peace."
-Rudy Guiliani

http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20070901faessay86501-p60/rudolph-giuliani/toward-a-realistic-peace.html

Summary: The next U.S. president will face three key foreign policy challenges: setting a course for victory in the terrorists' war on global order, strengthening the international system the terrorists seek to destroy, and extending the system's benefits.

With a stronger defense, a determined diplomacy, and greater U.S. economic and cultural influence, the next president can start to build a lasting, realistic peace.

In contrast, Hillary and the seven dwarves have strayed too far to the left, and are on a path to lose the next election because of it.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 14, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"That said, Richardson is impressive in many respects, so if he makes clear he genuinely supports gay rights, I'd be willing to vote for him." - Steve H.

What are you looking for in particular? Whether or not it reflects his personal beliefs, I believe that he would professionally act in line with the response from his campaign, i.e. no matter how homosexuals end up as homosexuals, they shouldn't be discriminated against.

Do you want him to actually say he would legalize gay marriage? That might very well end any democrats chance of winning the White House. Dem's have a serious advantage in that Indie's are discontented with GOP management and Christian Conservatives might not support some of the GOP candidates. We can't do anything to get them out in droves. Maybe in 2009 when a Dem is sitting in the Oval Office, but not in 2007 when we need to consolidate Dem support and minimize GOP support.

Posted by: JasonL | August 14, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Bill is a great back room politician who knows how to connect with people and help find consensus. He brings a lot of experience to bear and a connection to an important demographic. All of these traits put him in a position to make a good VP that could support the major candidates who are better in public forums, which is really the race he is running.
Unfortunately for him, events such as these provide soundbite material that represent unacceptable risks to the major campaigns. They will find themselves on the defensive more often than they would without him, which defeats the purpose of bringing him on the ticket. He is failing at marketing himself to the Big 3.

Posted by: Jason A. | August 14, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

richardson is not ready,this is not the first debate he has looked lost and confused. whats worse is his putting out excuses and the blame game. he is inarticulate and after frat boy bush and his mishandling of everything from the english language to foreign policies, we don't need another one.

Posted by: ecoleman | August 14, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

hey proud, since you claim to be a pharmacist, do you dispense the morning after pill?

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 14, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Opa2 - I have several Gay and Lesbian friends and they are all "that way" from choice. And, so what? If someone finds love or campanionship in this world, we ought to be happy for them. And, for the religious right here, if those people's choice doesn't affect you, it is none of your business. As for the "Gay Activists", shoving it down people throats, as with that zany measure ('since marriage is for procreation, any married couple withoout children for more than three years shall have their marriage dissolved') you guys stuck on the ballot in Washington state, that may have been fun but it angered a lot of people who weren't even religious nuts. Everyone needs to go to neutral corners and simply live and let live.

Posted by: MikeB | August 14, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"When you go to the drugstore late at night searching for something to help your baby stop coughing, I'm the one that helps you"

Congradulations. I'm happy you have a good job. You should concentrate on that job. Stop coming in here and sabotaging , old man. And when you call in for help because you can't figure out how anything operates, your to old, you call me. I'm the voice on the other end, consoling you. Helping you fix your problems. Making the world go around

Stop pulling my name out of the blue to bad mouth. You want to talk about these worthless subjects, be my guest. Why must you mention my name if you are scared of me posting aginst you? You don't want to be attacked, then keep me name out of you mouth, or fingers.

The gop is done. I just come here to let you know it, gop. So you not shocked like you were the day after the 06 elections. I want you to join humanity and stop sabotaging that.

Authoritain gop'ers. You think because you are a dr, lawyer, pharmacist, any high paying job that you are better than the next man. Does your job make you more or less aware politically? You may have studied that which has no bearing forever. You may be a slave to your job. don't hate the free man. We were all free at one time. Who stole it? Who stole our freedom and replaced it with corporate slavery?

Your party has a year old man. Remember me when you are politically irrelevant, becasue I won't be here. Remember I tried to bring you back to humanity, but you rejected it. Remember in a year, when the word treason and traitors is flying around, which side you were on. Aknoledge your role in the destruction of this great nation, and remember what side you were one. Remember you were a RED COAT. Sell-out fascsit tratiors. YOu have year. Use it wisly.

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Richardson's ludicrous answer and his inability/willingness to accept Melissa Etheridge's kind invitation to try again sorely trouble me--both on the merits and because they fit a history of gaffes and thoughtless comments.

The poster who compared Richardson to Bush in that regard is spot-on; in fact, I recall W giving nearly the same response to that question back in 2004.

That said, Richardson is impressive in many respects, so if he makes clear he genuinely supports gay rights, I'd be willing to vote for him.

Posted by: Steve H. | August 14, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Richardson's debate performance have been so-so, somewhat hampered by not getting the same opportunity to answer key questions that the so-called "big 3" have gotten. And his mistake during the LOGO debate was really bad. In all of these performances, he has seemed to be some combination of umprepared and/or sleep-deprived.

The good news for him is that nobody is watching the debates. While we political junkies might be watching them, the voting public at large is not. So none of these problems so far will kill his campaign. Meanwhile, Richardson DOES connect successfully with people in his advertising and in retail politics.

Richardson's plan is clearly to do well in Iowa, NH, and/or Nevada and assume that afterwards he will go up in the polls like Kerry did after Iowa. And that can still work just fine. Because those people who aren't paying attention to the debates right now will tune in about a month before the first primaries/caucases. At that point, he'll need to be more focused and stay on message. He does well when he's able to go right down the list of big issues and say "It's nice that these other candidates can TALK about what should be done on this issue, but I've actually DONE it."

Posted by: Artie | August 14, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Richardson is constantly putting his foot in his mouth. I can think of about a half-dozen gaffes that would have had the media all over Obama and Clinton.

He's a resume candidate; he does not perform well live. I wonder whether that will be enough to land him the VP slot.

Posted by: Nissl | August 14, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Richardson has gotten very little scrutiny from the mainstream press because most people don't consider him to have any chance at the presidential slot. At best he's an attractive VP ON PAPER but he may ruin that if he continues with the gaffes.

If you take any of his major issues and look at them closely you'll see they don't hold up. I was excited when he talked about universal health care at the Nevada forum, but realized it was a sham when Richardson said he'd do it without raising taxes and would use one-time funds from Iraq. This is a dishonest shell game. Most voters at this time like his paper resume - and that he's not named Hillary - but as a candidate he doesn't live up to it. Also, the Tim Russert Meet the Press Interview was "brutal" and would make anyone think twice about having him as VP.

He needs to make sure he doesn't run himself out of VP contention.

Posted by: Helena from VA | August 14, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

rufus- In the desperate hope that your ranting will cease, I offer this response to your ad hominem attack.

When you go to the drugstore late at night searching for something to help your baby stop coughing, I'm the one that helps you. When you need an antibiotic for you kid's ear infection, I'm the one who carefully prepares it and makes sure the doseage is appropriate for your child. When you have questions about taking some cold medicine and your prescription drugs together, I'm the voice on the other end of the phone counseling you.

Furthermore, I am neither male nor old, fyi.

Please try to remain on topic with your posts, otherwise get your own blog.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 14, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

on paper, governor richardson is the best candidate, hands down. but poor performance in the debates is a killer. maybe if he was leading the race, he could recover, but he is 4th (and 5th if Gore is included). he needs to hit homeruns to get back in the game and he's striking out.

as for those who think that sexual preference is a choice, i must ask if you think you chose to be straight. i know i didn't. i'm happy that i am, but i didn't sit down at age 8 or 15 or 20 and say "hmm, given the choice i'm going to start having crushes on girls." it's silly to even suggest it.

Posted by: st paul sage | August 14, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh GOP. And ANdy Warhohl was a talentless hack. A fake. A fraud.

Your plastic existance doesn't have much time now. YOur fascsit fake movement has a year. Then we get back to the REAL. Down with the fakes. Up with the real. You cannot stop us old man. YOu have sabotaged us long enough. The internet and truth was your downfall, not me. "The truth will set you free". But you don't know anything about that, do you

ONE WORLD ONE PEOPLE.

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

gays about 10% of the population. are they interested in politics? probably a lot more thna the average person.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

You swallow it all whole, don't you, proud -- beleive every lie Hate Radio spews at you. What a tool.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"And he did it without throwing Democratic principles (like choice, healthcare, the environment) under the bus"

Yep. Richardson's your man if you want higher taxes, more bloated social welfare programs for illegal immigrants, commitment to bring down the planned US border wall, freedom for all the criminals at Gitmo, and precipitous withdrawl from Iraq.

Surprisingly though, he is the NRA's favorite candidate. Go figure.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 14, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The old man (proudgop) is all washed up. The world has passed HIM by. HE sits in his samll town out of touch from reality. HE believes the news he hears on rush and watches on Fox is real "news" and not political propoganda bought and payed for by their advertisers (drug, oil, defense)

He looks out his window all day everyday fearing the brown people are coming to his small town. He is scared. He is scared of everything. He is scared of fuirners. scared of liberals. Scared of terrorsits. Scared or the "liberal" medeia. He is scared of judges. HE is scared of many things. Rather than dealing with HIS fear he and others like him project. They project their fear on an external boogie man because they can't take responsibility for it. It's much easier for these people to blame an external source than take responsibility.

It's ok old man. I got you. I won't forget you people when you are 90 and sitting in your rocking chair. Just know. You gop'ers are not living your life. YOU ARE MERLY LIVING UNTIL YOU DIE. That is no way to live. Live as if every second was your last. That is the meaning of life. YOu cannot live forever. Fear doesn't exist. Stop the hatred of all things. You cannot hate all that is unlike you forever. This country is built on accepting new things, growing, changing.

John Wayne is dead. The 60's are over. Westerns and war movies are a thing of the past. You cannot berainwash the youth anymore,,less than previous times anyways. We are all individuals. You cannot force conservatism on a free people. Your fascsits revolution has failed. I am a blank poster. I am not to blame. Look in the mirror, OLD MAN

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what Richardson said about gays and lesbians. They may be important but he probably gained more votes with his original answer than he lost. Of course people are not gay by choice any more than we are boy or girl by choice. On the other hand, this is much to do about nothing. There simply are not enough gays and lesbians interested in politics to make a difference in a Presidential election. In Texas they would say "They have a big hat but no cattle." Their influence in the general scheme of things is minimal. Nobody is going to lose an election in this country because of what he said to gay people.

Posted by: Opa2 | August 14, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

the vicious GayLib attack -- oh yes, absolutely terrifying, those GayLibs.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

BETHESDA, Maryland (CNN) -- Toymaker Mattel is voluntarily recalling 9 million of its toys in the United States including popular characters such as Batman, Barbie, Polly Pockets and a toy from Pixar's "Cars" movie because of hazards to children, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Tuesday.


Mattel's Barbie and Tanner doll set is one of the products being recalled.

"The company has ordered that all products be pulled off retail shelves," said Nancy Nord, acting chairman of the commission.

Posted by: dangers of globalization | August 14, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Since Richardson failed the Gay Political Litmus Test, he's dead meat with the GayLibCartel in the National Democratic Party, but nobody really cares otherwise.

Mainstream America observes, bemused, with eyebrows raised, at these antics, wondering which is more ridiculous--the Question, or Richardson's bowing and scraping after the vicious GayLib attack!

Posted by: Tommy | August 14, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP - it was locals at a Fairfax County library. Not the wandering nuts who have been referenced a number of times.

This was people in Conservative/Liberal Fairfax County openly advocating the killing of gays. Which answered Dufus' original charge that it was a boogeyman.

How you get S. Carolina out of Northern Virginia, still is beyond me - unless!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

It's so unfortunate that some of the most qualified people for president, like Bill Richardson, are often the ones who don't do as well in the political beauty contest that modern campaigns have become.

Posted by: MBW | August 14, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

keep yourselves busy. Get a job for pete's sake.

Or better yet, you come in here to defend bush and his treasonous cronies. Sign up and go over seas.

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

You old people are soooo cool. Do you enjoy yourselves. Playing games with you selves.

Why not talk about the real issues? Instead you middle school elderly are amusing yourselves. i guess you gotta do something with your day. You gop'ers looking out your windows with binoc's scared to death must get old after a few years. Cowards.

Posted by: rufus | August 14, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I am disgusted with the rumors going around that Obama's debating and critiquing isn't appropriate. The rumors are Orwellian. The whole point of debates is to DEBATE and find things that need to be CHANGED. To say otherwise is some nasty propaganda. Now, not only Hillary but also the RNC are investing in this propaganda. I am disgusted with Hillary and the RNC.

Posted by: Golgi | August 14, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Could any of these so-called "top-tier" Democrats win 70% of the vote in a battleground state?

Bill Richardson DID.

And he did it without throwing Democratic principles (like choice, healthcare, the environment) under the bus.

Posted by: MBW | August 14, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

not rufus - He'd have to look much farther to find me in my undiclosed location waaay up north.

But, it's not that much of a stretch to imagine a cross-reference to NC when discussing NoVA, is it? These groups do travel around I would think. Time to adjust your tinfoil hat perhaps?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 14, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

That was a trick question for Gov. Enríquez (isn't that his real name?), a non-gay. He shouldn't be criticized; how would he know? On the other hand, those who answered "correctly" possibly may be gay, something gays and the electorate ought to consider.

Posted by: Rev. Luther Norquist | August 14, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Bill Richardson seems to share an unfortunate attribute with President Bush: well-spoken and persuasive in person, awkward and unconvincing on the stage. Unlike President Bush, Gov. Richardson has an impressive record of accomplishment in his wake. But after the seven years, it's difficult to believe voters will roll the dice again with a President that can't be a leader in words as well as actions... especially Democratic primary voters who can list every attribute of the President they hate.

Posted by: Eirishis | August 14, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

In Response to "proudtobeGOP":

Those stories about Richardson "inappropriately touching" female co-workers are largely unsubstantiated.

I would point out that the co-worker those stories often mention, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, has endorsed Richardson's campaign and has campaigned on his behalf. That's hardly the response of someone who thinks he's a creep.

Posted by: MBW | August 14, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

It is clear from the postings that even the Democrats don't really want change in our political system. Governor Richardson may have foot in mouth disease but at least he is willing to speak his mind on some issues. We have had almost seven years of parsing and misdirection. Most of the other major Democratic candidates seem to be following that same path. To me, change is fresh ideas, a willingness to take risks and plain talk. He thinks being gay is a choice - so what? He has a right to that opinion and it is better for him to be honest about his opinion than to use doublespeak. Is he acting on this in the same way that the conservatives and Republicans do? Of course not. We, including gays, take ourselves way too seriously and get offended by some pretty stupid things. Isn't it more important that he believes in equality? I guess to many, the answer is no...it is more important that he buy into their line of reasoning about a pretty insignificant issue.

Finally, having a President with foot in mouth disease is important for the late night comedians. Politics is so much more fun when there are lots of opportunities to see the human side of a politician.

Posted by: mattr | August 14, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

proud, my anecdote was about Northern Virginia. Neither the words South nor Carolina were mentioned in the response to Dufus.

Think he may be watching us right now?

Posted by: Not Rufus | August 14, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

In the first of two lawsuits before the court, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy group, alleges in a class action that AT&;T collaborated with the NSA to operate a "dragnet" that illegally tracked the domestic and foreign communications of millions of Americans.

Posted by: big brother's here | August 14, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

This past Friday on her radio show, Randi Rhodes reminded us of a lawsuit involving reporters who filed suit against their employer, Fox News, in response to refusing to distort a news story and by not cooperating the reporters were fired. A jury ruled in their favor and awarded them restitution, but Fox appealed and won. With that ruling, there is now legal precedent siding with the fabrication of news. Just wait to see what Murdoch does to the Wall Street Journal.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone (probably not even Richardson, himself) believe that Richardson will be the next President of the United States. I do think he makes for an excellent candidate for VP for Clinton or Edwards, though. An Obama/Richardson ticket might be a bit heavy on the minorities but maybe it's exactly what we need.

Anyway, a few years in the White House might be exactly what he needs to polish his oratory abilities to be the first Latino president. This was a gaffe but not a horrible one.

Posted by: JasonL | August 14, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Friday signed into law the controversial Interception of Communications Bill, which gives his government the authority to eavesdrop on phone and Internet communications and read physical mail.

The legislation has drawn outspoken opposition from the political opposition and civil society organizations as trampling on the civil rights of Zimbabweans.

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change faction of Morgan Tsvangirai called it an addition to "the dictator's tool kit" . . .

Secretary General Welshman Ncube of the MDC faction led by Arthur Mutambara called it a "final straw to the curtailment to the liberties of Zimbabweans."

Human rights lawyer Otto Saki told VOA that the law interferes and undermines the enjoyment of rights enshrined in the constitution and is a sign Mr. Mugabe wants to consolidate his power by "any means necessary or unnecessary."

But Communications Minister Christopher Mushowe said Zimbabwe is not unique in the world in passing such legislation, citing electronic eavesdropping programs in the United States.

Posted by: leadership | August 14, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Homosexuality IS a choice. Gender preference may not be, but homosexuality clearly is.

There is no doubt that people are pre disposed or have a natural inclination toward certain things. One of those is your gender preference. Another one of
those is being fat. Nonetheless, obesity is a choice, whether we want to admit it or not. You CAN limit your food intake. Same with gender preference. You CAN refuse to have sex with members of your own
gender. But you choose not to.

The gay community has this issue totally screwed up. The POINT should be who gives a damn? Whether or not you choose to be homosexual, you should be allowed to marry whomever you want. We choose our religion, and wouldn't stand for the Government saying we couldn't marry because of that choice.

Posted by: Gasmonkey | August 14, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

L.Sterling is right; this is a bogus issue. This pales in comparison to Richardson's long history of innapropriately touching female coworkers and acquaintances. Lack of discipline, indeed. The guy is a creep.

More importantly, no one of substance supports his radical plan for immediate surrender and withdrawl in Iraq. He never had a chance, and now has alienated the radical left- his only hope for a constituency after running to the left of Edwards.

This "issue" is about as relevant as black people asking Barack Obama if he's black enough. These questions are an insult to the candidates and the public alike, not to mention the dumbing down of the entire process of Presidential politics. This is the criteria some people use to select the next Leader of the Free World??? We have far greater issues to be concerned with as a nation; this entertainment-style media-driven frenzy on the trivial is sickening.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 14, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

By challenging Kristol, Stewart has done something that most mainstream news outlets have failed to do, which is correctly label O'Hanlon and Pollack as hawks who supported both the initial invasion of Iraq and the President's escalation strategy. Much of the mainstream media has referred to the two as "vocal critics" of the Bush administration.

Even though O'Hanlon has admitted that he "was not a critic of this war," his and Pollack's op-ed has enabled pro-war hawks like Kristol and Vice President Cheney to claim validation for their opinions from alleged critics. By labeling O'Hanlon and Pollack as critics, the media is giving political cover to the same voices who misguidedly pushed America into war in the first place.

UPDATE: During the interview, Kristol also said "it's not a bad idea" to invade Iran and that Americans should let Iraq "play...out for the next six months."

it's always another 'six months'.. anotehr 1000 dead.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

As an Iowa blogger covering the 2008 caucus race, I've had several occasions to see Bill Richardson on the stump in formal and informal settings, and have always thought him to be a bit uneven. Richardson seems at his best when addressing small groups of voters, which plays very well in Iowa, and, I believe, is one of the main reasons for his surge in the polls here. Unfortunately for Richardson, it often seems that the larger the stage (and stakes), the worse he does; left uncorrected, this will be his undoing once the campaign leaves the confines of Iowa and New Hampshire.

That said, I don't discount jet lag, or general fatigue, as a factor, either. I recently attended a speech Richardson gave on foreign policy at the end of a 10-day campaign swing. Despite Richardson's generally acknowledged foreign policy expertise, he bombed his delivery, sounding as though he were discussing a subject of little interest to him; at one point in the Q&A following the speech, Richardson launched into a response to a questions, extemporized for about three minutes, then had to admit he had forgotten the question.

(for the full account of this speech, please visit http://ipol-2008.blogspot.com/2007/07/richardson-and-new-realism-in-american.html)

This isn't to say that Bill Richardson is necessarily a poor candidate, nor even an undisciplined one. But it is a commentary on the challenges of candidates below the first tier in maintaining consistent performances on the campaign trail. For whatever reason, this bug seems to hit Bill Richardson particularly hard.

~iPol: the Personal Pronoun, as applied to politics.

Posted by: iPol | August 14, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

On the Daily Show last night, host Jon Stewart challenged Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol's claim that Brookings' analysts Michael O'Hanlon and Ken Pollack are "skeptics of the war."

Stewart pressed Kristol on why actual skeptics of the war should trust war hawks such as him "to undo the terrible thing" they created by pushing for the invasion of Iraq and making failed predictions at every turn. "Don't trust me," responded Kristol. "Trust skeptics of the war like Mike O'Hanlon and Ken Pollack."

"They weren't skeptics," Stewart said. "Ken Pollack would like us to invade Iran, for God's sake...those are very hawkish guys."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I hope Richardson can get his message out because he, is in fact a very different kind of Democrat than the others running.

You don't win 70% of the vote in a battleground state by being Nancy Pelosi....

He's pragmatic, results-oriented and bi-partisan...I hope that his campaign learns how to capitalize on that.

But unfortunately, being pragmatic and getting results aren't all that popular in the Democratic party right now...(see exhibit A, "Congress").

Posted by: MBW | August 14, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

not rufus- Yesterday's discussion with Dave included your remarks about a Christian group in No.Carolina who "looked on approvingly" at some protest or something. Anyway, my point is that dave was referencing that comment and you, as an anonymous poster should try to rethink your paranoid squealing to the Fix. Dave meant you no harm or offense, I'm quite sure. btw- thank you for adopting a fake name by which to idetify yourself from all the other anon/cowardly posters.

Carry on.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 14, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

his week, Rove and his staff will turn to their endgame. They will oversee a mobilization of political employees from Cabinet agencies, Capitol Hill and lobbying firms many of them skilled campaign veteran to more than a dozen battleground states. Many will act as "marshals," supervising the "72-hour plan" developed by Rove in 2001 with Ken Mehlman, the former White House political director who now heads the Republican National Committee...the success of the get-out-the-vote effort depends on putting a reliable army of volunteers into the field, and some worry about the sour mood among Republicans this year....

In the summer, they invited hundreds of political appointees from Cabinet agencies, along with other GOP activists and Hill staffers, to attend a pep rally in Washington. The event featured appeals to politically experienced federal appointees to volunteer for campaign work in battleground races in the final two weeks of the campaign. In a twist that resembled an Amway sales meeting more than a political strategy session, they offered those who signed up on the spot a chance to win an iPod and other prizes. As the political landscape shifted in September and October, Rove's office suggested new destinations for some of these volunteers, pointing them toward races that had become more critical.

But to senior-level political appointees, such conversations with the White House would not be anything new: Nearly all have had regular contact with Rove and his political deputies to a degree previous generations of appointees did not....By stopping short of explicitly calling on the Interior Department officials to take action, Rove stayed within the rules against exerting improper political influence.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Rove's merger of politics and policy was an effort to forge a total one-party state. While he is acclaimed as a political strategist, his true innovation was in governing. He sought to subordinate the entire federal government to his goal of creating a permanent Republican majority. Every department and agency has been subject to an intense and thorough politicization. Indeed, Rove's ambitious plan was tantamount to a proto-Sovietization. Even science has been suppressed in the name of the party line, recalling the Lysenko episode. Cheney and Rove acted as the pincers of the unitary executive. While Cheney sought to concentrate unaccountable power in the presidency, Rove brought down the anvil of politics on the professional career staff.

Rove's radicalization of government was early described by the first member of the administration to quit in disgust, John DiIulio, a University of Pennsylvania professor and the first director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. He discovered that "compassionate conservatism," Rove's slogan for Bush's 2000 campaign, was little more than a sham. "What you've got is everything -- and I mean everything -- being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis," said DiIulio.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"But of course, no repugs are 'elite' are they?"

There is a difference in the approaches generally taken by Democrats and Republicans. There's a populist strain in both parties - but the Democratic party has, at least during my lifetime, also had a strong strain of "intellectualism." The pitch often seems to be that we have more advanced, more sophisticated, more intelligent or more enlightened policies - and it often comes across as "you just don't understand," "we know better than you do," or all too often, "we're smarter than you."

Who knows, many republicans may actually feel that way - but republican politicians don't pitch themselves that way, and it makes a difference in the way voters perceive them.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I am a Richardson supporter, but I agree that he needs to get some message discipline ASAP.

Clearly, with all of those years of success in government at nearly every level, he is "ready for primetime".....unfortunately his campaigning of late is undercutting that image. And I don't know what the explanation is.

I fear that his campaign staff thinks that spontaneity and "realness" are a strategy.....

....but, sadly, we've seen time and again in American politics that "realness" rarely wins elections.

Posted by: MBW | August 14, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

WaPo: Romney's Wealth Allowing Him To Self-Finance
The Washington Post today examines Mitt Romney's 250 million dollars in assets, focusing on the candidate's long relationship with Bain Capital Partners, a Boston investment group. Even after placing his assets in a blind trust in 1999, Romney has reaped millions from the firm in dividends and acquired a base of influential fundraisers with deep pockets. Romney's personal fortune also has allowed him to back up his presidential ambitions by loaning his campaign $8.9 million -- meaning that a significant portion of his campaign treasury has been from self-funding.

Posted by: rich and pretty mitty | August 14, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

zzzz. another not ready for prime time player is exposed. bye and thanks for playing.

mitty is another one but his money will keep him in the race for as long as he wants. won't get him elected president, though.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 14, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Welcome to Room 641A, Possible Warantless Wiretapping Center
This San Francisco AT&T office may be the center of government surveillance. Tomorrow, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will rule on whether the room is a state secret that cannot be litigated for security reasons.'

Every phone call you make...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm baffled by the way we seem to make the "inborn vs. chosen," "nature vs. nurture," "biology vs. lifestyle choice" question such a binary, black and white, either/or issue. This has always struck me to be driven more by ideology (on both sides) than science or reason.

Human sexuality is clearly instinctive, and written deeply in our genes. It's also clearly quite malleable - just look at the various usenet groups under the alt.sex.* hierarchy. Can a prediliction for latex really have been written into someone's DNA? (What evolutionary process would that have involved, and how long did it take?)

Is it so hard to believe that we are born with drives and predispositions that are then materially shaped by our particular culture and environment? Why would that be threatening?

We would have a much more mature and productive discussion if we'd all get out of our comfort zones. Considering the possibility that culture and personal experience may help shape our our lives and sexuality does not deny the importance of biology - and recognizing the foundational importance of biology does not lock us into biological determinism.

It's not always either/or - sometimes it's both/and.

Posted by: Demos | August 14, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: apparently not! | August 14, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: apparently not! | August 14, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The Democratic 'elite' -- you mean half the people in the country? Spoken like a true dittohead. I'm so glad to know I'm elite. But of course, no repugs are 'elite' are they? Not all the repg CEOs for instance. Just plain folks I'm sure.

Posted by: Jane | August 14, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

This is a bogus issue. Even the gays don't "know" whether it's nature or nurture. Just because there is some "politicaly correct" junk science out there purporting to "identify" the "gay gene", doesn't make it a legitimate question either in or out of the GLBT community for a politician otherwise meeting with them to discuss their agenda. There are more problems with Richardson as a candidate than this stuff.....

Posted by: L.Sterling | August 14, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

'I think that the scientific argument is a loser in the gay rights movement. Are you really expecting conservative America, who does not even believe in evolution, to buy homosexuality as a congenital condition?'

the majority of americans DO believe in evolution, dude. thank god.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"Richardson, a good man, is alas on the wrong side of the science on this issue, as well as being on the wrong side of the politics."

Exactly where is the long term scientific study that proves this statement?

And why should it matter if someone chooses to be gay, or are genetically disposed to it. While it may make gay rights activists sleep better at night, and have a stronger political argument, shouldn't someone who chooses to be gay afforded the same legal rights as heterosexual couples?

I think that the scientific argument is a loser in the gay rights movement. Are you really expecting conservative America, who does not even believe in evolution, to buy homosexuality as a congenital condition?

And all Bill Richardson did, which everyone thinks is a major bone head move, was think about an issue he struggles with, and try to honestly answer the question. I'm sure it would have been much smarter to have pre-prepared, canned answers, to make sure he jumped through the gay forums hoops.

Michael Dukakis, John Kerry, and Al Gore all said the things that made them acceptable to the Democratic elite. Where are they now.

Posted by: mike | August 14, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"Richardson, a good man, is alas on the wrong side of the science on this issue, as well as being on the wrong side of the politics."

Exactly where is the long term scientific study that proves this statement?

And why should it matter if someone chooses to be gay, or are genetically disposed to it. While it may make gay rights activists sleep better at night, and have a stronger political argument, shouldn't someone who chooses to be gay afforded the same legal rights as heterosexual couples?

I think that the scientific argument is a loser in the gay rights movement. Are you really expecting conservative America, who does not even believe in evolution, to buy homosexuality as a congenital condition?

And all Bill Richardson did, which everyone thinks is a major bone head move, was think about an issue he struggles with, and try to honestly answer the question. I'm sure it would have been much smarter to have pre-prepared, canned answers, to make sure he jumped through the gay forums hoops.

Michael Dukakis, John Kerry, and Al Gore all said the things that made them acceptable to the Democratic elite. Where are they now.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

The fiscal imbalance meant the US was "on a path toward an explosion of debt".

"With the looming retirement of baby boomers, spiralling healthcare costs, plummeting savings rates and increasing reliance on foreign lenders, we face unprecedented fiscal risks," said Mr Walker, a former senior executive at PwC auditing firm.

Current US policy on education, energy, the environment, immigration and Iraq also was on an "unsustainable path".

"Our very prosperity is placing greater demands on our physical infrastructure. Billions of dollars will be needed to modernise everything from highways and airports to water and sewage systems. The recent bridge collapse in Minneapolis was a sobering wake-up call."

Is there a single republican candidate who is willing to talk about all this? Or will they continue to talk irresponsibly about cutting taxes,-- and thereby destroying our country's future?

Posted by: Cassandra | August 14, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

By all means, let's not worry if he's competent or honest. Let's not get distracted by his record of service or his years of experience. The only thing that is of any importance at all is...will he gore our fatted calf just the way we like it? Is he a zealot for our cherished prejudices and beliefs or is he one of those fickle fellows who allows himself to be swayed by logic and reason? How's his stage presence? Do we feel safe, warm and sleepy when he tells us our bed-time story, or does he try to confuse us with uncomfortable facts?
Unless we want to be confronted by the reality we have created, we're going to have to hire another snake oil salesman to keep the scam going after the Bungler gets retired. I am reassured as I look across the field of prospective candidates that we will indeed find another liar to replace the current liar and thus we'll be able to go on, secure in our delusions.
And after all, which of us really wants anything more than that?

Posted by: Dijetlo | August 14, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Anything but. Richardson has blundered his way through the debates, backtracking on Iraq and presenting a muddled view of everything from the war to gay rights ("It's a choice!!") I expected more from Mr. Diplomacy.

http://political-buzz.com/

Posted by: matt | August 14, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

'The US government is on a 'burning platform' of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon, the country's top government inspector has warned.

David Walker, comptroller general of the US, issued the unusually downbeat assessment of his country's future in a report that lays out what he called "chilling long-term simulations".

These include "dramatic" tax rises, slashed government services and the large-scale dumping by foreign governments of holdings of US debt.

Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were "striking similarities" between America's current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including "declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government".

"Sound familiar?" Mr Walker said. "In my view, it's time to learn from history and take steps to ensure the American Republic is the first to stand the test of time."

Mr Walker's views carry weight because he is a non-partisan figure in charge of the Government Accountability Office, often described as the investigative arm of the US Congress'

Posted by: Cassandra | August 14, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I always thought Richardson would make an ideal VP. After watching him embarrass himself in public appearances and debates, I'm not so sure anymore.

Posted by: fulch | August 14, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

US General Accounting Office Comptroller General David Walker thinks "dramatic" tax rises, large cuts in government services, and dumping of US government debt by foreign governments are possible elements of our national future. Walker says we are not on a sustainable path...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

It's probably intuitive to most people that the gasoline in their fuel tank expands in the heat -- just like doorframes and cookware and everything else on the planet. What's probably less intuitive is that, in the United States, this physical phenomenon pumps a nearly $2 billion annual windfall out of consumers' pockets and into oil company coffers, according to numerous calculations, including a recent House of Representatives study.

The North Carolina-based company Gilbarco Veeder-Root manufactures a device -- a temperature-sensitive chamber for fuel -- that, if affixed to gasoline pumps across the country, would return that money to consumers and help relieve some of our storied gas-price pressures. The device -- and others like it -- is simple, functional and, in fact, already in widespread use at gas stations all across Canada. Last month, Democratic presidential hopeful and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, chair of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee, held the second in a series of hearings to investigate why the technology has never made it into the American market.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Richardson has zero chance. Why waste time talking on him?

The gay question issue has nothing to do with it. Many people agree with him. Most I would think. Because one group doesn't like his answer on that one doesn't, doesn't eliminate him. It's something else. He doesn't seem like he's with the program.

Posted by: RUFUS | August 14, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I have mentioned here my preference for Obama/Richardson.

I am rethinking that to Obama/Dodd. Richardson is a very good diplomat and politician. Sadly, the reality is he is not a showman. A necessity in the ever lengthening political circus formerly known as the Primaries.

I don't think that Hillary is going to finish as the nominee. She has Bill. Great for fundraising, but he has alot of negative baggage.

Personally, she is too much of a Washingtonian now-a proponent of a 'strong preesidency'.

After going on 7 years with the Current Occupant, the Founding Father's wisdom in crafting a Strong House/Weak Presidency is more impressive than ever.

Posted by: poor richard | August 14, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

People do not decide *Hey, I think I*m gonna be gay.* They FIND OUT that they are gay, as teens or as young adults, usually quite reluctantly after being in denial for a time.

Richardson, a good man, is alas on the wrong side of the science on this issue, as well as being on the wrong side of the politics.

Posted by: cwh2 | August 14, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

This particular remark will not long resonate outside of the LGBT community. However, it is emblematic of some of Richardson's larger problems. It has been mentioned, for example, that Richardson does not communicate well in the spotlight; additionally, however, Richardson suffers from a lack of any kind of coherent political philosophy (or "message discipline," as it's been called above). Perhaps this benefited him during his career as a diplomat, being able to make arrangements off the cuff, but it hurts him as a candidate. Bloomberg is able to sell his "unideology" under the banner of pragmatism, and while Richardson has attempted this as well, he has failed even in selling this particular spin consistently. It is his clumsiness, his tendency to contradict himself rather repeatedly that ultimately prevents him from being taken seriously as a presidential candidate, and even, if other candidates are prone to doubt his ability to stay on-message, as a VP pick.

Posted by: Peter in OH | August 14, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Melissa Etheridge gave Richardson ample opportunity to recant his answer, but he chose (just like I did to be gay, apparently) to decline. It's to his staff's credit, not his own, that a clarifying statement was released immediately after the forum. His answer the next morning- that sexual orientation may be a combination of genetics, upbringing, and choice, but no reason warrants discrimination against gays- would have been a satisfactory response to Etheridge's question on Thursday evening, but I will not vote for an otherwise-qualified candidate who opines, if only for five minutes, that homosexuality is a choice.

Thanks for finally posting this story, Chris- we were afraid you'd decided to ignore it with the excitement of Ames.

Posted by: polynerd | August 14, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

JimD in FL writes
"I believe that his greatest weakness as a nominee would be his call for total withdrawal from Iraq in six months."

I agree. I think in voicing uncertainty about what makes gay people gay, Richardson voiced a confusion and/or uncertainty that is true for a lot of Americans. Even among Dem primary voters, while the answer isn't 'PC', I don't think its a deal-breaker. Its certainly not in terms of the general election. As JimD writes, that deal-breaker on Richardson is the simplistic idea that just pulling out of Iraq ASAP will solve the problem.

Posted by: bsimon | August 14, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I like Bill Richardson. I like his politics, and I particularly like the job he's done as NM's governor.

But his appearance in a couple of recent debates raise some questions as to his personal health. He appears to have great difficulty understanding the questions, and has a look on his face of an aged person who is confused about where they are. I hope this is passing problem that is correctable, but Richardson definately has some kind of problem that is causing him to be less than razor-sharp.

Posted by: Austin, Tx | August 14, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Oh come on this phony career government
leech,the La Raz Democrat Hispanic Bill
Richardson is definitely no ready for
prime time and face it Richardson has never
held a job in the private sector in his
life and Richardson shameless plays his
Hispanic Blood (He Is Half Mexican) all
the time and wants open borders,to tear
down the fence,and let another 30 Million
more Illegal Aliens in as well! So is that
ready for prime time? No Way!

Posted by: Claudine | August 14, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

what is this Big three people keep talking about only see two candidates up there unless Richardson can get his act together because John Edwards does not have it (although i think his wife just may) i would like to put the motion to a vote all in favor of referring only to the Big two say Whooo YAA, all opposed well nobody likes you anyway

Posted by: andy fro reisterstown | August 14, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Until the LOGO debate, I was planning on voting and contributing to Richardson. Now it's clear to me that he doesn't have the temperament to be President. He seems to have great success with one-on-one or small meetings and in managing. He'd be a great addition to any Democratic administration if he could take on a managing, less public role. I think I'm moving towards Obama now.

Posted by: Greg from MD | August 14, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I find it kind of funny this insistence on the biological predisposition. Isn't there anybody who remembers the gay liberation mantra in the pre-AIDS times, when the rage was that being gay was a choice we consciously made? And more, that made us sort of superior to straight people, who were unable to go beyond their nature? Those were the times, my friend.

Posted by: Alfonso Martinez | August 14, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Richardson was potentially the most appealing candidate the Democrats could nominate -a relatively moderate, popular, Southwestern governor with experience in the cabinet, UN and Congress. He is a skillful diplomat who has negotiated successfully with unfriendly regimes. To top it all off, he is an Hispanic with an Anglo name. A Richardson candidacy could have helped solidify Democratic gains in the Southwest made during the 2006 mid-terms.

He has been unable to project a presidential image due to a series of rather bumbling debate performances. This latest gaffe is inconsequential in and of itself. However, it is a symptom of his greatest failure as a candidate - an inability to effectively communicate with voters in televised forums. He might be able to get some traction in Iowa and New Hampshire where retail politics are critical. It is at least theoretically possible that he could learn to communicate well enough on television to become a formidable candidate. Should he find himself as a communicator and do well in the first primaries, these early gaffes will probably be forgotten. Not that many people are paying much attention to the debates right now. It doesn't seem all that likely, however.

I believe that his greatest weakness as a nominee would be his call for total withdrawal from Iraq in six months. Although I support a redeployment of our troops in Iraq and a reduction in numbers, a total withdrawal in such a short period would result in an even greater disaster than we have now. The Republicans would undoubtedly play that issue up and drag in the security problems at the nuclear labs while Richardson was Secretary of Energy (although the problems there continue to this day - many of the scientists seem congenitally cavalier about handling classified material).

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 14, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Some people thrive in the national spotlight and some people don't. Richardson, as much as I like him, doesn't.
In addition, to be president of the United States you have to not only withstand that spotlight you have to shine (ie Reagan, Clinton, even GW Bush).

That being said, Richardson still has lots of time to polish his image. And although this will somewhat hurt him in the LGBT community it will have very little effect on the Democratic party nomination or the General electorate as a whole, IMO.

Posted by: Andy R | August 14, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

He'd make a good VP for strategic reasons (Hispanic from a swing state surrounded by swing states) but he is not a good POTUS candidate. His mouth runs and his brain is always playing catch-up.

Posted by: Greg in LA | August 14, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I respect Bill Richardson and all the service he has done for this country but the man in not prime time. Take a look at the debates, his words are not those of a man whom negotiated with the likes of Saddam Hussein. His resume outclasses him in every single way, we may not even hammer him as much if we didn't know that man was in Washington as a Congressman or an administration official since the 1970's. All we can do now is watch a man implode slowly from misspoken words and lack of detailed knowledge on the domestic issues that really Americans are scared about.

Posted by: PopulistDemocrat | August 14, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday a Dufus Dave asked "Where are these fundamentalist Christians that want to execute homosexuals and adulterers?...Why are you creating a fundamentalist Christian boogeyman?" I provided an answer to Dave with an example from No. Virginia.

Dave then belittled the response as being me defending another poster; which it obviously wasn't. Dave must have trouble adding one and one and coming up with two.

More importantly though in his response Dave said "We should send them (U.S. troops) to S. Carolina, the real threat to democracy."

Not a word had been said in the entire thread about South Carolina. But, I happen to be in South Carolina.

An odd coincidence? Or, has this nut Dave gotten through whatever security the Post has and can backtrack on our posts?

The old saying "Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean that there isn't somebody out to get you!"

Mr. Cillizza, this was a little too coincidental for my comfort.

Posted by: Not Rufus | August 14, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I don't think it was a mistake.

Richardson is right of the party line on several cultural issues (gun control comes to mind). First of all he's from New Mexico, which is a relatively conservative state, but it's also important to remember the Democrats won control of Congress by running candidates in the South (e.g. Webb) and Midwest (Tester) who vocally opposed the war but didn't toe the party line on all social issues.

If the strategy of the mid-terms still holds, then Richardson may be making an electability argument. If that's Clinton's primary weakness, and neither Obama and Edwards can make headway against her, it's a reasonable (*political*) strategy.

Posted by: Chris | August 14, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

i don't think this will be a major issue unless someone makes a youtube video stringing together all of his "foot-in-mouth" moments (and he has a lot of them). his remarks seem to offend certain groups within the democratic base: environmentalists with his unapologetic oil investments, civil rights groups because of his DOE nuclear secrets investigations, and now gay-rights groups. but those groups don't necessarily talk to each other saying, "hey, remember when richardson said/did XYZ?" until his "live-wire" status is articulated clearly, i think this will be an isolated issue.

Posted by: chicago | August 14, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

This latest incident involving Richardson is nothing more than a slip of the tongue that will be immediately forgotten except by LGBTs. But it IS indicative of a longer term problem of message discipline for the candidate.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Richardson is an exceptionally gifted one-on-one, meet-and-greet retail politician. My sense is that because of that fact, the press has covered him with the expectation that those charismatic personal skills would at some point allow his extensive and diverse government experience to shine through. The problem is that he continues to blow opportunity after opportunity to contrast himself favorably with his opponents. At every debate, Richardson can be counted on to be un-prepared and off-key, and certainly to say something completely nonsensical for which he must later apologize. At some point, one must conclude that Richardson's string of errors, while perhaps evidence that he's "authentic" or "not blow-dried," must also be taken as evidence of what a future Richardson presidency would look like.

Posted by: dry_fish | August 14, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Richardson isn't really a viable candidate for President, simply because he isn't different enough from the Big 3, and more to the point, isn't good enough at messaging to highlight the subtle differences. However, it's my belief that his diplomatic experience is a big asset for the democrats. Look to for him to be the VP nominee if Clinton wins or Secretary of State if Obama gets the nod.

Posted by: Jeff S | August 14, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

The bottom iline is that he's simply a bonehead with no possible chance of becoming the president of the United States. Although it's the doldrums of August, please find something to blog about!

Posted by: Evan | August 14, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

As a gay hispanic american, leaning toward Richardson and who watched the debate on logo, find it very disappointing that he would say that. Even though he is not primte time material, still it is no excuss, jetlag, or whatever. The simple answer is to say no, its not a choice, next question. I was not impressed with his performance and was hoping that with the ever increasing debates he would become more polished. Unfortunately, that is not happening and I am starting to rethink if I should vote for him in the primaries.

Posted by: SouthFl | August 14, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

As a gay hispanic american, leaning toward Richardson and who watched the debate on logo, find it very disappointing that he would say that. Even though he is not primte time material, still it is no excuss, jetlag, or whatever. The simple answer is to say no, its not a choice, next question. I was not impressed with his performance and was hoping that with the ever increasing debates he would become more polished. Unfortunately, that is not happening and I am starting to rethink if I should vote for him in the primaries.

Posted by: southfl | August 14, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

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