The Perfect Model

The Hotline’s Chuck Todd is feeling bullish about New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, about whom he notes, “If a Democratic consultant were trying to create the ideal presidential candidate, Richardson would be the model.” On what, exactly, does he base this analysis?

When searching for potential Democratic roadblocks to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's likely march toward the 2008 Democratic nomination, a few candidates stand out. One is New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson…

He's a sitting Western governor from a red state who has vast experience in foreign affairs, including first-hand experiences in countries of the highest concern to this country. He's an ethnic mix of Northeastern blue blood and Mexican but has a governing ideology that's pro-business with left-of-center tendencies. He's a Latino in appearance with a gringo last name who speaks fluent Spanish. All future presidential candidates should have experienced electoral defeat at least once (Richardson's done that) and all should have an incredible ambition that borders on overdrive which launched their career. (Richardson has that, just look at how he carpetbagged his way into New Mexico's congressional delegation in a mere four years of taking up residency.)
Todd also references Richardson’s “gargantuan ego” and the lack of a “soft side,” noting that the latter might make him less attractive to the key demographic of married women over 40, but also fills the “toughness” gap “that's usually missing from Democratic candidates on all levels.” Additionally:

He is a politician who makes a lot of gut decisions that sometimes seem silly -- and ridiculously self-serving -- at first and yet have allowed him to pile up an impressive list of accomplishments.
Richardson has stuck me as a better-than-average speaker, but not approaching the talent of Clinton, Obama, or even Edwards. Beyond that, I know little about him, and I must admit, this profile did not endear him to me. I certainly don’t consider his being part-Mexican and a fluent Spanish-speaker a liability, but I don’t think it ought to be considered a particular strength on its own, either. Lacking a soft side doesn’t particularly interest or disinterest me. The combination of a gargantuan ego and gut decision-making reminds me too much of our current disaster-in-chief for me to feel especially thrilled about either. Such attributes, we have learned quite pointedly over the last five years, do not necessarily a good leader make.

Pro-business? I don’t consider that the hallmark of a strong liberal candidate. Left-of-center tendencies? Doesn’t sound particularly reassuring for resolute progressives.

I came away from this profile thinking Richardson is Hillary with a swarthy complexion and a penis, which, sadly, seems exactly what a Democratic consultant trying to create the ideal presidential candidate would deem the perfect model—and that says more about Democratic consultants than it does about Bill Richardson.

(Via Political Wire.)

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