James Carville thinks that Bill Richardson committed an act of betrayal when he endorsed Barack Obama on Friday. This got me thinking, what more did Richardson owe the Clintons? Before we get to that question, here is what Carville said in today’s New York Times, “Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic.”
I find James Carville very amusing when he is on TV, sort of like an exaggerated political cartoon character, but Carville has been living off Bill Clinton’s 1992 win for almost 20 years now. Carville isn’t relevant in American politics, and in my opinion, his comments represent the old guard of the Democratic Party who are thirsting to return to power, and believe that they are entitled to it.
My question is, are the Clintons the political equivalent of The Sopranos? Once they do you a favor, for how long are you beholden to them? Richardson tried to address this topic at the post endorsement press conference when he pointed out that Bill Clinton did appoint him twice, but that he thought he served the president well both times. I think everyone knows that Richardson is looking for a high profile position in the next Democratic administration, so it was expected that his endorsement was going to go to the candidate who was going to be the likely nominee.
However, if you go back and closely examine Richardson’s endorsement of Obama the topic of race is mentioned quite a bit. Back when Bill Clinton was running around South Carolina trying to turn Obama into Jesse Jackson, it was quietly rumored that one of those Democrats who was most bothered by Clinton’s behavior was Bill Richardson, and it has been reported that Obama’s speech on race was what closed the deal for Bill Richardson. I think that there is more to this endorsement than political ambition. As much as Obama won his support, the Clintons lost it.
The moral of the story here seems to be, don’t ever let the Clintons do you a favor. Bill Richardson’s biggest crime is that he had the nerve to actually not live in the past. No matter how this election turns out, Hillary Clinton is the candidate of the past, while Barack Obama represents an unknown future which is brimming with potential. America has spent the better part of the current decade living under a president who represents a return to the past, and the Republican Party has chosen a candidate that has promised to keep this cycle going.
Bill Richardson saw that America doesn’t want their choice in November to be between a candidate who will take us back to the 1990s and one that will return us to the 1980s. Whatever Richardson’s personal motivations were, he owed the Clintons nothing.
People like Carville are most upset, because they are now forced to face the reality that there probably won’t be another Clinton in the White House. Richardson’s endorsement of Obama adds another line of writing to the wall. Just as Richardson didn’t owe Hillary Clinton his loyalty, America doesn’t owe the Clintons another turn in the White House. If she wins it, great, but don’t expect us to give it to you.
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