When the 2008 presidential cycle started … in 1987 … I said that Bill Richardson was the candidate the Republicans should fear most. His long experience in foreign policy and energy would have made him an even compelling candidate for the Democrats now that they have settled on Barack Obama, who doesn’t have any experience at all, given the pressing issues of fuel prices and Iranian nuclear proliferation. Today’s appearance on Fox & Friends highlights the best and worst of Richardson, as he manages to combine charming bluntness with abject foolishness in both realms of policy:
Richardson performs best when gently shooting down the notion of Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as an Obama running mate. Richardson probably sees himself as the best VP candidate, and he may be right, but obviously can’t come out and say that on television. Instead, he allows that Hagel might have a significant role in an Obama administration, but not as VP. He’d be a “very good member” of a bipartisan administration.
He doesn’t do as well when defending Obama’s lack of experience. Richardson says that Obama is good at bringing people across the aisle together, but gets stumped when challenged to give a real-life example. Instead, Richardson uses the campaign as an example, which amounts to saying that writing a resume amounts to job experience. The pause when Richardson gets challenged is worth a laugh.
Richardson also puts some space between himself and Obama on domestic drilling, following the examples set by Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, and Sherrod Brown in the Senate this week. He continues to lamely demand that oil companies drill where no oil has been found first, but then grudgingly allows that in the short run, we need to find more domestic supplies. As Jaime Sneider writes at the Worldwide Standard, Obama may be the last Democrat left to continue obstructionism on domestic drilling — or may be set up for yet another flip-flop. Stay tuned.