Archive for the ‘Bill Richardson’ Category

Always The Bridesmaid: Obama Names Bill Richardson For Commerce

December 2, 2008

For Bill Richardson and many Latinos, this is good news and bad news.  He was chairman of the 2004 Democratic National Convention as well as Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association in 2005 and 2006.  He has paid his dues.  The highly qualified Governor of New Mexico, former Big City Mayor, Ambassador to the United Nations, Energy Secretary and candidate for President of the United States has been asked by Barack Obama to serve as the Secretary of Commerce…..
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Barack Obama is expected to nominate New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to head the Commerce Department, a senior Democratic source said on Tuesday.

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President-elect Obama is expected to announce the appointment during a news conference scheduled for 1140 EST/1640 GMT on Wednesday in Chicago, his fifth since he began naming nominees for his Cabinet.

Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson in Albuquerque, August ...
Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson in Albuquerque, August 18, 2008.(Jim Young/Reuters)

The appointment of Richardson, a former U.N. ambassador and energy secretary who became an Obama supporter earlier this year after dropping his own presidential bid, would make him the first Hispanic named to Obama’s rapidly filling Cabinet.

Last week Obama announced members of his economic team including his nominee for Treasury secretary, New York Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner, and this week he unveiled his national security team including his designate for Secretary of State, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Richardson, 61, had been a contender for the secretary of state post that went to his former Democratic presidential rival Clinton, but at Commerce he will play a key role in efforts to revive the faltering U.S. economy.

(Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Sandra Maler from Reuters)

Bill Richardson

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Latinos unhappy with Obama picks

November 30, 2008

If there is one message President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team has broadcast about Cabinet picks, it is that ethnicity and gender will not be the first considerations when filling the slots.

Credentials over tokenism, after all, was a fundamental principle of Obama’s presidential campaign that highlighted his ideas and community values over his African-American background. Still, if all goes as planned, Cabinet members with hefty résumés will present a picture of diversity.

Hispanic political leaders agree. Their expectations for seats at the president’s top policy table are not about meeting quotas but about advancing the reality that within this fastest-growing ethnic group are seasoned policy experts who understand the economic, foreign and domestic policy concerns shared by everyone.

Obama promised hope and change, and Hispanics hoped for the usual two Latinos in the Cabinet. And heck, why not three or four? Now that would be a change.

Gebe Martinez, Politico

But at this early stage in the appointments process, there is a trickle of disappointment running through the Latino community.

First, the most prominent Hispanic leader, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, lost the plum secretary of state assignment to New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Last spring, Richardson angered the Clintonistas by backing Obama over Clinton during the heated Democratic Primary contest, only to now see her being offered the top diplomatic post.

“There’s nobody more prepared and experienced” for the job than Richardson, said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. Richardson was energy secretary and ambassador to the United Nations during the Clinton administration, and he helped free hostages in North Korea, Iraq and Cuba.

Second, grass-roots immigrant rights activists have mixed feelings about Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano being the likely nominee to head the Department of Homeland Security.

President-elect Barack Obama listens to Democratic governor ... 
President-elect Barack Obama listens to Democratic governor Janet Napolitano (L) of Arziona during a economic discussion in June 2008 at the Chicago History Museum in Chicago, Illinois. Napolitano is a breast cancer survivor, mountaineer and Monty Python buff who has been on the front lines of the battle against illegal immigration.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Jeff Haynes)

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New Secretary Faces Fixing Under-Resourced State Department

November 15, 2008
On news that president-elect Barack Obama is considering Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of state, Fox News brought out Democratic strategist Bob Bechel this morning who asked, “What does Hillary really want to do?  Get more post offices for the finger lakes region of New York or, as Secretary of state, visit European capitols and China?” In my opinion, this is one of the key problems with the State Department.  The Secretary of State often enjoys being “diplomat and traveler in chief” but often ignores his or her role as a key department head of the U.S. government charged with actually managing the Department of State.  During Condoleezza Rice’s time this came to a head when several of State’s diplomats refused to go to assignments in “hot spots” like Iraq.  These “public servants” were mostly coddled and cajoled while U.S. military volunteers, who take the same oath of service as State’s employees, face discipline when they refuse orders or assignments.  The point is that the next Secretary of State will have to deal with Russia, Iran, Iraq, China, Pakistan the Middle East and a host of other ‘hot spots.”  He or she will have to also get and keep the State Department at Foggy Bottom in line, on track, and in order — or it will become foggier still….

 
Seal of the United States Department of State

 

By Michael Abramowitz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 15, 2008; Page A04

The next secretary of state not only will face the challenge of repairing the nation’s tattered image and grappling with an array of global crises and hot spots, but also must solve a problem closer to home: reforming an under-resourced State Department to handle its growing duties, such as rebuilding war-torn societies, coping with worldwide pandemics and working with other countries to curb global warming.

“In the last eight years, we have significantly reinvented and transformed every national security agency except the Department of State,” said Philip D. Zelikow, who served as counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. “Our core Foreign Service officers and aid officers are not large enough to play the role that’s been cast for them, nor do we have the training establishment to prepare them for their roles.”

Speculation swirled yesterday that President-elect Barack Obama might be ready to offer the secretary of state post to an instantly recognizable star, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). But other contenders apparently remain in the mix, including Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee; New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; and retiring GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.). And after watching a administration whose tenure was marked by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the world appears ready for the nation’s new top diplomat — whomever it may be — to lead the reinvigorated diplomacy Obama has pledged to deliver.

“The next president and the next secretary come into office at a time when our economy is in recession, our military is tied down and our reputation is tarnished,” said Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. “Diplomatic tools are arguably the one set of instruments that are available. It’s a natural moment for American diplomacy.”

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/14/AR2008111403505.html

Hillary Clinton For Secretary of State?

November 14, 2008

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is among the candidates that President-elect Barack Obama is considering for secretary of state, according to two Democratic officials in close contact with the Obama transition team.

By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer

Clinton, the former first lady who pushed Obama hard for the Democratic presidential nomination, was rumored to be a contender for the job last week, but the talk died down as party activists questioned whether she was best-suited to be the nation’s top diplomat in an Obama administration.

In this Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008 file photo, Sen. Hillary Rodham ...
In this Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008 file photo, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton D-NY addresses the press after she voted in Chappaqua, NY. Clinton is among the candidates that President-elect Barack Obama is considering for secretary of state, according to two Democratic officials in close contact with the Obama transition team.(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

The talk resumed in Washington and elsewhere Thursday, a day after Obama named several former aides to President Bill Clinton to help run his transition effort.

The two Democratic officials who spoke Thursday did so on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering Obama and his staff. Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines referred questions to the Obama transition team, which said it had no comment.

Other people frequently mentioned for the State Department job are Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and New Mexico‘s Democratic governor, Bill Richardson.

Pressure grows on Democrats to unite behind a candidate

March 23, 2008
by Michael Mathes

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Democrats came under mounting pressure Sunday to close ranks behind a single candidate, as Hillary Clinton faces dwindling mathematical possibilities of defeating Barack Obama for her party’s nod for the White House.

The increasingly bitter presidential campaign faces weeks of harsh confrontation ahead of next month’s crucial primary clash in Pennsylvania, one of 10 remaining contests to decide who will face off against Republican John McCain in November.

New York Senator Clinton is in an uphill battle to shrink the gap between her and Obama, the Illinois senator who holds a lead in the number of nominating delegates, the percentage of the nationwide popular vote and the number of contests won in the 2008 campaign.

Some analysts were saying Clinton’s chances of pulling out a victory were receding by the day, with respected US newspaper Politico stressing Obama would have to be “hit by a political meteor” for Clinton to win the nomination.

Clinton’s own campaign reportedly has acknowledged that there is virtually no way she can finish ahead of Obama in pledged delegates.

“She will be close to him but certainly not equal to him in pledged delegates,” a Clinton advisor told Politico.

Estimates show Obama leading the former first lady in pledged delegates 1,628 to 1,493, and ahead in the primary popular vote by some 750,000 people.

A Democratic presidential contender would need 2,025 delegates to secure the nomination, but with just about 500 more delegates still up for grabs it will be virtually impossible for either to win the contest outright.

That leaves the Democratic contest in the hands of 796 superdelegates, assigned by the Democratic National Committee, who can vote the way they wish at the convention.

Independent website RealClearPolitics.com puts the superdelegate count at 250 for Clinton and 214 for Obama as of Sunday.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who threw his support behind Obama on Friday….

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080323/ts_alt_
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First a Tense Talk With Clinton, Then Richardson Backs Obama

March 22, 2008

By Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny 
The New York Times
March 22, 2008

PORTLAND, Ore. — “I talked to Senator Clinton last night,” Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico said on Friday, describing the tense telephone call in which he informed Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton that, despite two months of personal entreaties by her and her husband, he would be endorsing Senator Barack Obama for president.

“Let me tell you: we’ve had better conversations,” Mr. Richardson said.

The decision by Mr. Richardson, who ended his own presidential campaign on Jan. 10, to support Mr. Obama was a belt of bad news for Mrs. Clinton. It was a stinging rejection of her candidacy by a man who had served in two senior positions in President Bill Clinton’s administration, and who is one of the nation’s most prominent elected Hispanics. Mr. Richardson came back from vacation to announce his endorsement at a moment when Mrs. Clinton’s hopes of winning the Democratic nomination seem to be dimming.

But potentially more troublesome for Mrs. Clinton was what Mr. Richardson said in announcing his decision. He criticized the tenor of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. He praised Mr. Obama for the speech he gave in response to the furor over racially incendiary remarks delivered by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

And he came close to doing what Mrs. Clinton’s advisers have increasingly feared some big-name Democrat would do as the battle for the nomination drags on: Urge Mrs. Clinton to step aside in the interest of party unity.

“I’m not going to advise any other candidate when to get in and out of the race,” Mr. Richardson said after appearing in Portland with Mr. Obama. “Senator Clinton has a right to stay in the race, but eventually we don’t want to go into the Democratic convention bloodied. This was another reason for my getting in and endorsing, the need to perhaps send a message that we need unity.”

In many ways, the decision by Mr. Richardson, a longtime political ally of the Clintons, was as much a tale about his relationship with them as it was about the course of Mr. Obama’s campaign.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/22/us/politics/
22richardson.html

Obama Draws Backing from Ex-Rival Richardson

March 21, 2008
By Jonathan Allen, CQ Staff 

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama picked up the support of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who began the year as a rival for the Democratic presidential nomination. Richardson, in a statement posted Friday on the Web site of his defunct presidential campaign and e-mailed to supporters, also called for New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to end her own campaign for the nomination for the good of the Democratic Party.

Democratic Presidential candidates Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) ...
Democratic Presidential candidates Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) greets New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (L) as they take the stage for the Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum in Des Moines, Iowa, December 1, 2007.(Keith Bedford/Reuters)

Richardson served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and as Energy secretary during the presidency of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton‘s husband.

Richardson, in his statement, offered brief praise for the Clintons and their political contributions. But he said the long and contentious battle over the nomination needs to end so the party can focus on the general election contest against Arizona Sen. John McCain, who early this month secured enough delegates to clinch the Republican nomination.

“It is time, however, for Democrats to stop fighting amongst ourselves and to prepare for the tough fight we will face against John McCain in the fall,” Richardson said.

Richardson’s position as governor makes him the most prominent Hispanic official in the nation, and his past roles as a Cabinet official and a long-serving U.S. House member before that make him arguably the most accomplished Hispanic politician in the nation’s history.

The endorsement from Richardson could give a lift to Obama’s effort to improve his showings among Hispanic voters. Clinton has longstanding ties to this constituency dating to her time as first lady, and Obama — in his bid to become the nation’s first African-American president — may be hindered by longstanding frictions among some blacks and Hispanics over economic issues, ethnic tensions and political representation.

Richardson described Obama as the candidate who can unify the country, citing the speech the senator made Tuesday concerning racial reconciliation in America as he sought to distance himself from inflammatory remarks on race relations made in the past by the pastor at his Chicago church.

Senator Obama has started a discussion in this country long overdue and rejects the politics of pitting race against race,” Richardson said. “He understands clearly that only by bringing people together, only by bridging our differences can we all succeed together as Americans.”

Though Obama made only three glancing references to Americans of Hispanic origin in his speech, Richardson said he was moved.

“As a Hispanic, I was particularly touched by his words. I have been troubled by the demonization of immigrants — specifically Hispanics — by too many in this country. Hate crimes against Hispanics are rising as a direct result and now, in tough economic times, people look for scapegoats and I fear that people will continue to exploit our racial differences — and place blame on others not like them,” Richardson said.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/cq/20080321/pl_cq_politics/
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Bloggers applaud rebuff of lobbyists

August 5, 2007

By Christina Bellantoni
August 5, 2007

CHICAGO — A presidential forum hosted by liberal bloggers drew sharp exchanges yesterday when John Edwards challenged his rivals to stop taking donations from lobbyists.

“We need a transparent government,” said the former senator from North Carolina, a favorite among those attending the Yearly Kos convention. “Why don’t we start today reforming the Democratic Party by all of us committing: no more, from this day forward, not a dime from the Washington lobbyists.”

The 1,400 people in the ballroom leapt to their feet for a sustained ovation. Later, Mr. Edwards said voters “know who has the power in Washington, D.C., and they know it’s not them.”

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http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070805/NATION/108050022/1001

Restore Civility in Debate, Politics and Government

July 28, 2007

We’ve published the essay below before so if you find your lips starting to move as you read it; that is entirely our fault.  We thought we would republish this essay, though, because of the stalemate in the U.S. Congress.  No funding bills have been agreed upon this session and the most important one, the defense appropriations bill, was pulled from the floor of the Senate by Senator Harry Ried, the Majority Leader.  Mr. Reid also engineered the meaningless all night “pillow fight” in the Senate which amounted to nothing.

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
Republished July 28, 2007

There seems a lack of civility, good manners, decorum and protocol in Washington these days.

And it has spread beyond Washington to the internet and to email onscenities.

One side frequently calls the other side names; instead of making organized, logical arguments.

We entered the world of the “blogosphere” on July 4, 2006. In this internet land of people discussing world events, the language we found often is particularly harsh, polarizing and nasty.

Former President Bill Clinton entered (or re-entered depending upon your point of view) the fray on Sunday, September 24, 2006, during an interview with Chris Wallace on the Fox News Sunday show. Associated Press writer Karen Matthews, reporting on the exchange, called it “combative.”

That’s not a word usually associated with a president during a media interview. I can’t think of that word ever applied to an ex-president during a media exchange — especially with a president.

This may just qualify Mr. Clinton for another description: “not presidential.”

Clinton accused host Chris Wallace of a “conservative hit job.” Not presidential at all. He seemed to be just venting rage. Who needs that?

Did president Clinton miss a memo about letting others mix it up in public with the opposition and their media? Even my Vietnamese-born wife observed: “Good thing Clinton didn’t interview with Bill O’Reilly on Fox. It might have ended up with Bill and Bill on the floor slugging each other.”

Not presidential.

Last week, in mid-July 2007, the two Democrat front runners for the nomination of their party to run for president duked it out in public.  As we used to say in the navy: “Hold Fire!” you two.  Save it for the Republicans!

It is bad enough we have to hear the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “talking smack” as they say, at the United Nations; now we have to hear it from a former President of the United States and those running for that high office. 

On President Bush’s trip to South America, not only has he refrained from talking about Mr. Chavez: he has refused to mention him by name.  This is the same Mr. Chavez that called the president the devil at the U.N.

Thoughtful, courteous national discourse has managed to get us through a revolution against the most powerful nation on the Earth, a War Between the States, two World Wars and other tragedies and trying times.

If we can get along, maybe we can discuss the problems and get the best answers. Maybe a more civil and etiquette-driven discussion of the issues can help us get through the War on Terror.

Instead, we have become a nation led by name-callers, insult-slingers and generally rude, angry and impolite representatives.

And sometimes, the media, maybe unintentionally, magnify the animosity.

My friend, retired Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters at The New York Post, wonders about “the unscrupulous nature of those in the media who always discover a dark cloud in the brightest silver lining. They are terror’s cheerleaders.”

What does this teach our children? And does it do us any good?

Candidate for president John Edwards not too long ago defended his own bloggers for their use of “the most hate-filled, blasphemous and obscene remarks—all of which were brought to the attention of Edwards—that have ever been written by any employee of a presidential candidate,” according to the Catholic League of the United States.

In other words: a new low.

Opposite Mr. Edwards, we were delighted to see Governor Bill Richardson call for civility among the national candidates.

Senator James Webb, a former Marine and Secretary of the Navy, met the President of the United States in November 2006 at the White House. Maybe Mr. Webb was a little too taken with himself after beating Senator Allen in the election. Whatever the reason, newspapers reported that Mr. Webb, while a guest at the White House, “Tried to avoid President Bush,” refusing to pass through the reception line or have his picture taken with the president. The president had to seek out the illusive Mr. Webb, a guest inside the Executive Mansion.

“How’s your boy?” President Bush asked the Senator then elect, referring to Webb’s son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

“I’d like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President,” Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

“That’s not what I asked you,” Bush said. “How’s your boy?”

“That’s between me and my boy, Mr. President,” Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.

When Webb was asked about the apparently rude response to a question from the President of the United States, he responded by saying, “So I know the drill. I’m looking forward to working with people in this administration.”

The language and smart remark to the President of the United States, and the host of the event in his own residence, seems an insult to me and not an indicator of someone eager to work with the opposition. It is not the language of a gentleman.

“I’ve got good friends on the Republican side,” added Webb, a former Republican.

I would say, apparently, that Senator Webb does not know the drill: at least the drill taught to the leaders of Communist Vietnam, where the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Vietnam held a cordial discussion in November 2006 or at the United States Naval Academy, Webb’s alma mater, where many of America’s finest young men and women are taught to behave in a certain manner and make the case cogently and without obscene language or smart remarks.

We can assure readers that at the Naval Academy, midshipmen are instructed to conduct themselves as gentlemen and gentlewomen.

Our American history is full of great men who teach us the importance of good conduct for the common good.

Some say George Washington actually authored “The Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour [sic] in Company and Conversation.”

Though not the author, Washington embraced good manners so famously that the “Rules” could easily have been his own creation. The good manners of John Adams also echo to us through history.

With Thomas Paine, Adams watched a young American officer conduct himself less than diplomatically and courteously before the King of France.

Adams wrote to his wife, describing the “Man of Choleric Temper.” Adams said the man “like so many Gentlemen from his State, is abrupt and undiplomatic. Last evening, at a Royal Reception, he confronted His Most Christian Majesty Louis XVI with Words both ardent and impatient, whilst Mr. Paine wrung his Hands at the other man’s lack of Tact. Never did I think that I would see our impetuous Paine so pain’d by another’s want of Courtesy and Civility. To our amazement, however, the King took [the man’s] Enthusiasm in good Part.”

When told one of his generals, John C. Fremont, had been nominated by a group of 400 anti-Lincoln loyalists to run for president, Lincoln opened a Bible and read aloud from I Samuel:22, “And everyone that was in distress, and everyone that was in debt, and everyone that was discontented gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them; and there were with him about four hundred men.”

Modern statesmen pulled the country together, not by tearing others apart or barking at the media, but more often by thoughtful discourse and conduct.

“Both Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt operated beautifully on the reporters who surrounded them,” wrote David Keirsey and Ray Choiniere in “Presidential Temperament.”

“Both used the press as if it were their own publicity machine.”

This was largely achieved in a civil, diplomatic style.

A modern day solon of wisdom and truth might be former Indiana Congressman and Democrat Lee Hamilton.

Hamilton volunteered some stern remarks about the importance of truth. “Facts are not Republican and they’re not Democrat,” he said.

“They’re not ideological. Facts are facts,” said Mr. Hamilton.

I cannot ever recall seeing Gerald Ford, our late president whom we honored last December, look mean, uncivil, rude or terribly angry.

Neither can I remember John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan (”The Great Communicator”), George H.W. Bush, or George W. Bush look petulant, angry or rude. I also cannot recall any of them knowingly distort the facts.

Other great national leaders also reflect respect, even admiration, for the importance of good protocol and decorum.

Winston Churchill described a 1941 university ceremony this way: “The blitz was running hard at that time, and the night before, the raid … had been heavy. Several hundreds had been killed and wounded. Many houses were destroyed. Buildings next to the university were still burning, and many of the university authorities who conducted the ceremony had pulled on their robes over uniforms begrimed and drenched; but all was presented with faultless ritual and appropriate decorum, and I sustained a very strong and invigorating impression of the superiority of man over the forces that can destroy him.”

Let’s hope leaders become enlightened enough to avoid the forces that can destroy them. For our sake and the sake of our children. Especially as we in the United States near an important national election.

I regret the times that bad conduct, anger and a disregard for etiquette got the best of me. I hope our present day political leaders see the light too.

To get though the war against terror and to achieve victory, a united, clear-thinking leadership just might be important.

Angry rhetoric and arson with clever words serves no good purpose.

I am be wrong but that’s how we see it.

Related:
Lingo of Failure: How to Decode Washington Political Speak