Back at the end of December, I posted this item, wherein I picked New Mexico governor Bill Richardson as the Democratic hopeful to watch. Well, the other day New York Times columnist David Brooks said the same thing, becoming the third pundit, by my count, to do so. (The Times Select link requires a paid registration; sorry. The blog Politika Erotika has posted the whole column, so you can read it there as long as it remains.)
Here's a core point:
He’s a successful two-term governor who was re-elected with 69 percent of the vote in New Mexico, a red state. Moreover, he’s a governor with foreign policy experience. He was U.N. ambassador. He worked in the State Department. He’s made a second career of negotiating on special assignments with dictators like Saddam, Castro and Kim Jong Il. He negotiated a truce in Sudan.And Mr Brooks goes on to point out other advantages to Governor Richardson, including that he's a governor, not a senator, with the concomitant executive experience under his belt.
Mr Brooks finishes with this statement, which summarizes my view exactly:
I wouldn’t bet a paycheck on Richardson. But I wouldn’t count him out. At the moment, he’s the candidate most likely to rise.
(And I liked Billy Joel and Szechuan food before they became trendy too....)