Richardson and the ClintonsWhen New Mexico Governor and former Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson decided to endorse Barack Obama, he did what he thought was the right thing and called his old friends the Clintons to let them know. First Read gives us a taste of an interview with Richardson on NBC Nightly News last night:
Richardson described the conversation that he had with Clinton last night "tough."
"It was tough to make the call, but I did. It got a little heated. It got a little tense. But it was understood, and I'm proud of my decision."
"We have a man who's won many, many primaries. Who's won the most primaries and delegates. Who's unifying the party and the country. Senator Clinton has run a great race, I'm not saying she should withdraw that's her decision. But we can't be wounded heading into Denver and the Democratic convention with negative campaigning. And this campaign has gotten too negative," he said.
"But I do so now just with enormous enthusiasm but enormous respect. I believe that Senator Obama is going to be the nomnee. I'm not asking anybody to get out of the race, but I believe it's time to get behind a nominee who can win," Richardson said.
Richardson's endorsement of Obama is huge, especially after the horrible week Obama has had with the Jeremiah Wright affair and continuing questions about his loyalty or his suitability for the White House. As a conservative Republican and avowed non-Obama supporter, the apparent Clinton reaction is what tells me that the Clintons were and are bad for the country. I can hear it now-"listen, you cheap little ****, we made you, you owe us, and this is how you repay us?"
As someone who has been around politics at some level for a good part of my life (and I am still young relative to those with years of experience), one thing I have learned is that you do need to help your friends when you can. I've had a number of political friends help me along or do things for me and never ask anything in return, yet I know that if I am in a position to one day return the favor to some of those folks, I will gladly do so provided no one asks me to do anything illegal, immoral, or unethical. One thing I will never do is vote in a way that I believe to be wrong just to return a favor or assist a friend. That is essentially what the Clintons want from Bill Richardson-they believe he owes them his endorsement despite the fact that he obviously doesn't believe Hillary is the best choice for the country right now, and they want him to defy his conscience because they helped make his current political career what it is today.
So what? I'm sure the day will come (if it hasn't already) when Richardson can lend the Clintons a hand in some way, but it shows what a lack of conscience the Clintons have that they would not understand an act of conscience on the part of someone they know. Bill Richardson does not need friends who have no conscience, and America doesn't need a President without one either.