Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Bill Richardson Platform:

UFOs, Drugs and Iraq 'N' Roll

It's something that's often heard by second-tier candidates and their followers. "If only we could get our message out, people would be flocking to us". Fair enough. In an effort to help get one man's message out, we took a look at New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

What is Richarson's message? What can we do to help disseminate it?

We looked at dozens of Bill Richardson fund-raising letters and articles and tried to boil down what it was that made Richardson different from the others in the Democrat field. What we came up with was: UFOs, drugs and Iraq 'N' Roll.

The Bill Richardson Fascination with UFOs

There's no denying it: this is one issue that Governor Richardson has completely to himself. There is no one else trying to crowd him on the UFO political spectrum, either from the Left or the Right. While he does strike a chord with a certain crowd of Americans here, is this really a Presidential issue? Richardson's camp certainly thinks it is. And it garnered him some coverage this past weekend.

A look at Bill Richardson's UFO background:
Governor Richardson also served in the Clinton administration after
spending 14 years in the House of Representatives. He served one year as
Ambassador to the United Nations and two years as Secretary of Energy. He
then became a successful governor and participated in numerous foreign
missions. In a foreword to "The Roswell Dig Diaries" published in 2006 by
Pocket Books Governor Richardson wrote:

".....the mystery surrounding this crash (at Roswell) has never been
adequately explained - not by independent investigators, and not by the
U.S. government."

"It would help everyone if the U.S. government disclosed everything it
knows. With full disclosure and our best scientific investigation, we
should be able to find out what happened on that fateful day in July of
1947. The American people can handle the truth no matter how bizarre or
mundane, and contrary to what you see in the movies."

[Above photo: Richardson gets all three of his issues in one sentence when he vows that 'Iraq is not worth the life of one more pot-smoking space alien?']

Richardson's Plan to End the War in Iraq

The Richardson plan to end the War in Iraq can't be faulted for its complexity. Bill would just pack up and leave. al-Qaeda be hanged. In place of the U.S. Army Corps, he'd insert the U.S. dipolmatic corps. Richardson on Richardson ending the War in Iraq:
There are seven components to my plan to end the war and stabilize Iraq, but the most important step, upon which all others depend, is to remove ALL of our troops quickly.

What we need to do:

1-Remove ALL Troops:
Only when the Iraqis know we are leaving will they start seeing us as partners, instead of occupiers.
[Ed. note-That al-Qaeda will also see us as more of a partner after this step is not mentioned here.

2-Withdraw as Quickly as Possible: We should start redeploying now. The longer we stay, the more people die, the further the situation deteriorates, and the more damage we do both to our military and to our reputation. Only when we are out of this quagmire can we refocus on the real war against Al Qaeda -- the terrorists who attacked us on 9-11, and who are still headquartered along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border -- not in Iraq.
[Apparently, Richardson is privy to info the U.S. Government can't secure.]
[Members of the Richardson Diplomatic Surge Team?]

3-A Diplomatic Surge: Iraq's crisis is a political crisis. It cannot be solved militarily. We need a surge of diplomacy to bring Iraq's factions together, to engage all of Iraq's neighbors in stabilization, and to put together a coalition of donor nations to aid reconstruction. [Note: As effectively diplomacy is a matter of carrots and sticks, what's the stick here? That the U.S. will re-invade?]

4-De-authorize the War and Fund Redeployment: Last November, the American people voted for the Democrats because they expected them to end the war.

5-Lead a Regional and Global Diplomacy: The hard political work begins as our troops start to leave. We must use the leverage of our withdrawal to bring the factions to the negotiating table.
[Something akin to saying "I'm going to leverage my nose against that bully's fist to get him to quit hitting me".]

6-The United States must lead this effort and involve all of Iraq's neighbors, including Syria and Iran, in a regional conference modeled on the Dayton conference which ended the war in Bosnia. Key objectives of the conference should be assurances of non-interference and the creation of a multilateral, UN-led Muslim peacekeeping force.

7-We must also convene a donor conference of wealthy Arab states to fund Iraqi reconstruction. All of Iraq's neighbors have an interest in preventing Iraq's civil war from spiraling even further out of control, and they should all play a part in stopping the violence.
So basically, the Richardson Plan for ending the War in Iraq boils down to: we leave, talk nice and everyone lives happily ever after. He should be in the thick of the fight for the Extreme Left portion of the Code Pink vote with this plank.

It's easy to sit on the sidelines and snipe at the proposals of others, but this hodge-podge of Iraqi points, makes one wonder: Who's writing Richardson's material? He better get some help in that department--and fast.

Richardson And (Medical) Marijuana

This is the Richardson issue that DBKP can cheer. Save the money, save the human cost of one portion of the inane War on Drugs? We're not objective on this issue. So, we present a view from a disinterested observer.

More on Richardson's and medicinal marijuana from Washington Post:
SANTA FE, N.M. -- Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson, poised to sign a bill making New Mexico the 12th state to legalize medical marijuana, said Thursday he realizes his action could become an issue in the presidential race.

"So what if it's risky? It's the right thing to do," said Richardson, one of the candidates in the crowded 2008 field. "What we're talking about is 160 people in deep pain. It only affects them."

Richardson has supported the proposal since he first ran in 2002. But he pushed especially hard for it this year, leaning on some Democrats to change their votes after the bill initially failed.

"Give him credit. It's not something you do because you're going to garner great political support for it. It is a bit controversial," said Thomas Mann, a political analyst at the Brookings Institution in Washington. By the same token, Mann says, it is not likely to hurt him in the Democratic contests.

"If he were to surprise us all and actually win the Democratic nomination, he's got an interesting mix of positions" that would not be undercut by his support of medical marijuana, Mann said.
So this is Bill Richardson's message in the nutshell. Is this an unfair portrayal? Not if one listens to the candidate's own words.

Bill Richardson's message seems to be a collection of niche messages to niche groups. That's enough to snag the 2-4% support that many polls give him. The mainstream finds his issues wanting.

Some candidates are second-tier for a reason. The problem is not that their message isn't getting out: it's that it is. We said at the beginning of this piece.

"Bill Richarson: UFOs, Drugs and Iraq 'N' Roll."

by Mondoreb
& Little Baby Ginn
[images: file photos and e-graphics]


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