Bill Richardson offers that rather lame excuse to Matt Lauer on the Today show this morning, as Lauer challenges Richardson over his previous sentiments on superdelegates. After Lauer quotes Richardson saying in February that superdelegates should vote in representation of their constituents, he asks the former presidential hopeful why he isn’t endorsing Hillary Clinton, whom New Mexico voters endorsed in their primary. Richardson’s response? Hey, man, he’s a Governor!
In the first place, Richardson had it wrong in February. The DNC did not create superdelegates to simply rubber-stamp the decision of their constituents. If they had, superdelegates would be a redunancy; they would just simply act from the pledged delegates and eliminate superdelegates altogether. No, the Democratic establishment created the superdelegates for the explicit purpose that Richardson denies here, which is to counter the popular vote when Democrats appear ready to elect someone unpopular with the party establishment.
Why doesn’t Richardson simply acknowledge that? Because the Democrats have been trying to keep that purpose mostly hidden from these same constituents. Their very existence speaks to the back-room-deal impulse that Richardson and the rest of the Democrats publicly decry. Now he wants to make it look as though he’s acting out of that principle, when in fact he’s opposing his own constituency and his previous public statements to make what smells very much like a back-room deal to back Barack Obama.
Note, too, the hippie “man” that now pops up with Richardson now that he’s grown a beard. It’s the kind of faux-populist pose one expects from a career government bureaucrat who now wants to distance himself from the establishment.