Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Whither Richardson

My first love in 2008 was Bill Richardson. A man who's seen the system of government from every angle, with a debonair record in spot crisis-solving in foreign policy. This is a man who negotiated with Saddam Hussein one-on-one...and got results. Plus, a man who will be term-limited out of office in 2010. While the people of Iowa and New Hampshire did not feel that he should become president, instead, I did wonder what would happen to him.

I'd have thought a man with such international experience would be a natural fit for Secretary of State, as do the readers of the New York Times. However, President-elect Obama seems to have chosen Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State, quite possibly killing her promising political career short of its end (who goes from the Cabinet to President? Nobody over the last few decades, that's who). If all the pieces go together, it seems that she may become America's face abroad. (The British Guardian is reporting that yes, she will.)

Which leaves Richardson where? There is a senatorial race in 2010, but unless incumbent democrat Jeff Bingaman retires, I don't see that in Richardson's future. It seems a waste to leave such a smart, experienced man out of government at a time when his ideas could be used.

How about Secretary of Education? Richardson has a strong record on education, and is the only Democrat who made education a big part of his campaign. He tried to inject it as a topic into debates, and was the only one who seemed to understand the issue. If Obama is going to ignore education (as seems likely), I'd be comforted to know that there's a real progressive who understands the issue at the helm.

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