April 28, 2007

"Moderate Ann Althouse waited for the transcript and called it a win for Bill Richardson."

Slate's blog rounder upper Michael Weiss, perhaps a little to eager to disrespect Bill Richardson, reads this post of mine as signifying that I only read the transcript of the Democratic debate. It's funny to think if you only didn't have to see (and hear) him, you might like him. But, of course, as you can see, my post plainly begins saying I watched two thirds of it before turning to the transcript . In fact, after reading the final third on transcript, I watched it too. I do admit, however, that Richardson is not eye-pleasing. He's most impressive on the radio.

Weiss begins his round up with this:
Barry Rubinowitz at The Nattering Nabob discovered newfound respect for Mr. Kucinch after seeing the Mrs.: "Most Surprising Moment: Seeing Dennis Kucinich's wife, Elizabeth. He got a tall, hot, redhead with a British accent. Not sure how he did it, but damn, he got the respect of a lot of men across America. If he can get that babe, maybe he can end the war and solve the health care problem."
I've got to give Rubinowitz credit for not making the usual witticism, which he deftly made us feel that he was going to do by starting with "he got the respect of a lot of men across America." You know you thought he'd say: If he can get that babe, the rest of us guys have hope. So it was funny to say "maybe he can end the war and solve the health care problem." But ordinary men can't compare their babe-magnetism to that of a man with power and celebrity (even at the Kucinich level), and war and the health care problem have no propensity to yield to the seductiveness of power and celebrity.

And I'm impressed by what some of what Rubinowitz has in a sharp summary of Richardson:
Bill Richardson – It isn’t good in a Democratic primary to be referred to as the NRA’s favorite candidate. His favorite Supreme Court Justice – Whizzer White...Whizzer White??? A man who was opposed to Roe v. Wade? Horrible speaker, bad impression – may have seriously damaged his VP chances. He has no Presidential chance at all.
I don't think he's a horrible speaker. As I've said, I was impressed when I heard him on the radio. But I think Rubinowitz -- and many Americans -- may be repelled by the way he looks. While we are wallowing in self-love over our acceptance of the black candidate Obama, we ought to think about whether we are feeling an aversion to a man whose facial features are Mexican.

Anyway, Rubinowitz is right about the way the question about the NRA hurt Richardson and how bad the Whizzer White answer was. It's bad if people know enough to remember how conservative White was on rights issues, but it's also bad if they don't. I think most people -- well, maybe not most people who'd watch a debate this early in the game -- would just think Richardson was absurdly out of it to name someone from so far back.

Maybe Richardson has the idea of trying to be like President Kennedy (who appointed White). Richardson did not go to law school, so it's not as if his sentiments about Supreme Court justices grow out of reading court opinions. "Whizzer White" probably popped into his head because he likes President Kennedy and because he knows -- the name "Whizzer" helps you remember -- that White was a great football player. Isn't Richardson the manliest of the Democratic candidates, with his guns and his sports? Unfortunately, he doesn't look athletic and, in any case, Democrats seem to be immune to such red state attractions. At least not until after they've chosen their candidate.

41 comments:

hellokitty said...

Boston70:
"Hey did you guys hear that Bush's AID's Czar, who promotes Abstinence Only, resigned today.

Yea, he was visiting a prostitute service. But he said he was just getting a "massage". Kind of sounds like Ted Haggard. His name was Randall Tobias and is a religious right freak.

I thought I would post this because 1) the hypocrisy is outrageous and 2) you won't see this from our independent blogger as this doesn't speak to kindly on another hypocrital Bush lackey."

This is a very delicious story. He was all for faith and fidelity and promoting Abstinence but only for others not himself.

Also, he states in the Washington Post he has now moved to a massage service that are "central american gals"-love that quote. Also he said the "gals" just came over to give him a massage-sure.

This has got to be the most hypocrital, corrupt bunch of losers that have ever entered public life.

EnigmatiCore said...

Richardson's appearance does not bother me.

Hellokitty,

Why did you start your post with quotation marks? Was your thread hijack enhanced by making it look like you were quoting yourself?

Fen said...

This is a very delicious story. He was all for faith and fidelity and promoting Abstinence but only for others not himself.

The thread is not about Al Gore, its about Bill Richardson. Very rude of you to hijack. If you don't like the choice of topics, start your own blog, loser.

Palladian said...

So if you don't think that Roe v. Wade was the bestest Supreme Court decision ever, there's no room for you to be a Democratic candidate for President? Scary that the entirety of the Democratic (and Republican) platform can be reduced to a loyalty test on that one issue.

Hello Kitty: I like you better mouthless.

AllenS said...

I'm curious as to how Hillary Clinton would respond to any questions about hunting and/or guns. Interesting that you would post that picture of Kerry. I remember when he bought his license, and said something like: "Can I get me one of them there licenses." Hillary has been practicing her southern accent lately, and could probably do a better drawl.

George said...

"His favorite Supreme Court Justice – Whizzer White...Whizzer White??? A man who was opposed to Roe v. Wade? Horrible speaker, bad impression – may have seriously damaged his VP chances..."

Ah, a moment that will go down in the minutiae of American political history....

It's a beautiful April day, and there are better things to do than contemplate next year's election....

Ann Althouse said...

George: You're right about the weather, and it's Saturday too. I'm going out. Maybe some pictures later.

Meade said...

"But ordinary men can't compare their babe-magnetism to that of a man with power and celebrity (even at the Kucinich level), and war and the health care problem have no propensity to yield to the seductiveness of power and celebrity."

It's true -- and ordinary men rarely have the seductive power to marry women young enough to be their granddaughters.

Ignacio said...

Ann, I have still followed your blog, but I like you best on political or legal topics rather than "American Idol" which I've never seen. So I'm engaged by your comments on this debate.

Victor said...

Wasn't there a story around Kucinich publicly looking for a date. I agree that photo does indeed boost his credibility.

The debate was depressing. The Democrats seem like lemmings. Just once I would love to see a strong contrarian position rejecting this debate more than a year before the election. (It could be a typical debate I'm not sure, but for most it was a waste of time - a sideshow.)

As to Hellokitty's thread hijack I have ni idea.

TMink said...

Well, us conservatives are the only people capable of hypocrisy.

At least we are good with irony and satire.

Trey

Beth said...

The Democrats seem like lemmings.

Guiliani this week turned tail from his pro-civil unions position. There are alotta lemmings lined up on the cliffs these days. Don't get too heartbroken in your search for contrarians, of either party.

reader_iam said...

So, Kucinich gets points because of his "accessory"? That's essentially how this woman is being referred to (I don't mean by Althouse).

I hate pecker politics.

XWL said...

Is it really inconsistent to say that "Roe v Wade" was wrongly decided and abortion should be legal?

It could be a case of the 'right' outcome for the 'wrong' reasons.

Taking that issue away from the legislative branch was the first in many erosions of the balance of power that the Constitution is supposed to protect.

Nothing is stopping Congress from passing a law that would make abortion the law of the land, the Roe decision simply punted the problem away from Congress so that they could instead posture on both sides of the issue.

That decision has been mostly just a fund-raising magnet for both sides, and as such the decision has been beneficial politically, but the Supreme Court was/is supposed to be the one branch where politics doesn't play a central role.

I certainly wouldn't have picked "Wizzer", but I like that name being thrown out there a lot better than Justice Ginsburg or Justice Breyer as the other candidates had answered.

Everyone should prefer Justices that decide cases on a case by case basis based on the actual Constitution and not based on preferred outcomes.

Also, I made the Kucinich joke and referenced Gov. Richardson's appearance in the comments well before the Slate article was posted, do I have a plagarism claim?

Zeb Quinn said...

"The Democrats seem like lemmings. Just once I would love to see a strong contrarian position rejecting this debate more than a year before the election."

IIRC Lieberman was the first one to drop out in 2004.

Steven said...

Nothing is stopping Congress from passing a law that would make abortion the law of the land

Well, except that Congress doesn't have plenary lawmaking power and never has. Congress has enumerated powers, which can only be extended to abortion under doctrines that consciously and deliberately subvert the very point of enumeration.

Mortimer Brezny said...

It's true -- and ordinary men rarely have the seductive power to marry women young enough to be their granddaughters.

I never understand this kind of criticism. If you read the woman's wikipedia page, she clearly shares his politics and is obviously wise beyond her years. Not every person of a certain age is typical for that age group. Furthermore, she is not his granddaughter: She's hot, smart, and British-accented and if he prevented himself from being with such a woman because someone might natter on about their age "disparity", he'd be an idiot.

Bruce Hayden said...

I was going to put this in the last thread, but it got a bit unweildy.

Nevertheless, if the Democrats were Republicans, they would pick Bill Richardson as their candidate in a heart beat.
- he probably has more relevant qualifications for the job than do pretty much the rest of his major competitors combined.
* Executive experience running a state
* Diplomatic experience, including four nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize (ok, Rush got nominated this year, but...)
* Administrative, running a federal govt. department.
* Legislative.
- Add to that that he could be our first Hispanic president, which might lock that demographic up for the Democrats for a generation.

But the Democrats aren't Republicans, so tend to pick their nominees via emossion instead of logic, and thus are more likely to pick somone like Obama with absolutely no relevant experience. None. Other than Richardson, they have a bunch of legislators running with no executive experience and minimal diplomatic or administrative experience.

XWL said...

I was imprecise, when I typed law I was thinking amendment (or at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

If abortion rights were as self-evident and popular as some people assume, then an amendment should be passable, even with the high bar that an amendment requires.

The Constitution has built into it flexibility, the Supreme Court shouldn't impose flexibility on the Constitution where it doesn't exist.

Just cause it would be difficult to amend the Constitution doesn't justify legislating from the bench, no matter how desirable the outcome may be.

Too much decision-making power has been ceded from individual states to the federal government and it would be nice if Gov. Richardson's naming of Justice White as a good Justice were based on a common belief in "judicial restraint", but somehow I doubt it.

Probably Prof. Althouse got it right and Richardson was hoping to 'butch up' by picking the Justice who happened to also have been a star football player.

When assigning motive to statements by politicians, given the choice between cynical calculation and honest statement of beliefs, side with cynicism.

(even when that cynicism may seem ham-handed, self-defeating and kind of stupid)

As far as the Kucinich thing, it is comical visually given their comparative age, looks, and height, regardless of the reasons for their coming together.

Here's a quote from her wikipage (which isn't sourced so may be made up)

Dennis says, "I've never seen myself as time-bound. When you make a connection on a soul level, age is not important."

So if things don't work out with Harper (and given two previous marriages for Rep. Kucinich, not an outrageous assumption to make), I'm sure Dennis would have no problem connecting on a "soul level" with a woman who was in her 80s(if a woman 20+ years his junior is fine, then a woman 20+ years his senior should be fine, too).

For a substantive critique of Elizabeth Harper Kucinich, she is the epitome of a 9/10 democrat and the mindset they represent, hear her in her own insipid words.

Rep. Kucinich (and his wife) on this issue, sounds a lot like all the other Democratic candidates (which is why Giuliani can get away with saying what he said).

Mortimer Brezny said...

I'm sure Dennis would have no problem connecting on a "soul level" with a woman who was in her 80s(if a woman 20+ years his junior is fine, then a woman 20+ years his senior should be fine, too).

I see. He's only interested in her because she's hot. Not because her life story is compelling or she shares his politics and believes in him. And certainly not the whole package.

The partisan moderate said...

Bruce, your comments border on the absurd. Republicans have turned down plenty of people with good gov. experience in favor of neophytes. Bush II or Reagan for example both had limited foreign policy experience and were chose over more experienced candidates.

Furthermore, I doubt Richardson knows anything about justices that he would name Whizzer as his favorite. Whizzer was generally considered an intelligent competent Justice but few liberals or conservatives would consider him their favorite. It is obvious that Richardson knew little about his jurisprudence. This an important subject matter which he will have to give greater attention to, if he wants to make a serious run for President.

As for his qualifications, he helped negotiate two lousy deals with North Korea. He did a terrible job at Los Alamos culminating in accusing a scientist of passing on secrets to China. He was an ineffective Congressman and his performance as governor is more owed to the economic growth that has happened nationally and has been especially advantageous for the sun-belt.

As for Ann, I am wondering why she waited until now to address these issues about Richardson, I mentioned them in her previous post. Does some hack at slate have greater insight? Richardson, is pudgy. It has nothing to do with his ethnicity. Oscar De La Hoya, Jennifer Lopez both look Latin and both are attractive. Your attempt to use the race card to cover your poor debate analysis is silly.

I would advise you to start reading less blogs and more political newspapers such as The Hill and Roll Call. Few, if any, came to the same conclusion that you did that Richardson had a strong debate performance.

XWL said...

Even amongst progressives women are attracted to power and prestige while men are attracted to youth and looks.

Is that so hard to fathom?

Is it unreasonable to suspect that may be the case for Rep. Kucinich and his wife?

And I would have gone on assuming she was his surprisingly tall daughter had it not been for the fact that in the sitdown interview with Matthews and Olberman after the debate Rep. Kucinich brought her along and they both answered questions, which was unique amongst the candidates.

(Elizabeth Edwards did show up in the pre-debate package, but she's been noteworthy in her own right so it made sense to have her on)

Mort, are you going to defend Sen. Fred Thompson when similar aspersions are made about he and his wife should he jump in the fray?

EnigmatiCore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EnigmatiCore said...

"Bush II or Reagan for example both had limited foreign policy experience and were chose over more experienced candidates. "

Bruce said experience. You changed it to foreign policy experience, and I am not sure why. Candidates (for either party) with foreign policy experience are few and far between.

So to say that the Republicans chose a lesser experienced candidate when they chose Reagan over Bush I in 1980 is what's absurd, rather than what Bruce said. Both Reagan and Bush I were extremely experienced, but in different manners. And Reagan had more political experience.

JimM47 said...

What's wrong with Richarson's appearance? I think he looks Presidential. Certainly more than Kucinich.

The partisan moderate said...

Enigmaticore

Foreign policy experience is arguably the most useful experience for being President. But even examining domestic experience, Bush II served only six years as governor in a state that governors had fairly limited power.

Reagan had less not more experience than Bush I. Bush I was Director of the CIA, Head of the RNC, Ambassador to the UN, and a Congressman in 1980.

Bruce's comment was that Republicans choose the candidate with the most experience. While my word choice of absurd may have been poor, his conclusion was factually incorrect.

Moreover, your comment, "Candidates (for either party) with foreign policy experience are few and far between" is inaccurate. Biden, Kerry, Dodd, Richardson, McCain, Bush I, Haig, and many others have all had foreing policy experience prior to running for President.

America tends to elect governors, but plenty of candidates have foreign policy experience.

Doyle said...

But the Democrats aren't Republicans, so tend to pick their nominees via emossion [sic] instead of logic

It's just funny hearing this from the people who brought us George W. Bush. How logical can his supporters be if he can't even put a coherent sentence together without help?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Mort, are you going to defend Sen. Fred Thompson when similar aspersions are made about he and his wife should he jump in the fray?

Yes. And I would defend Ann, too, if she chose to date a man young enough to be her grandson.

Mortimer Brezny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

doyle: It's just funny hearing this from the people who brought us George W. Bush. How logical can his supporters be if he can't even put a coherent sentence together without help?

He's a bad public speaker. You think this means he's stupid, which speaks more to your intelligence than his.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Foreign policy experience is arguably the most useful experience for being President."

Heck, something being arguably something is not a very high standard. If I choose to argue that having a hot wife is the must useful experience for being president, then it becomes arguably the most useful experience.

Perhaps you mean that it is reasonable to believe that it is the most useful experience. However, as it happens voters (from both parties and as a general election-whole) have not tended to vote in a manner consistent with them believing it is one of the most important criteria.

"Reagan had less not more experience than Bush I. Bush I was Director of the CIA, Head of the RNC, Ambassador to the UN, and a Congressman in 1980."

What I wrote was "Both Reagan and Bush I were extremely experienced, but in different manners. And Reagan had more political experience." So let's see if I am correct in this regard. Hopefully, the Director of the CIA is not a political position. George H.W. Bush was the head of the RNC for a brief period of time. Reagan was, at the same time, one of the most influential political leaders within the Republican party. I think it is pretty clear that even during the period where George H. W. Bush was RNC chairman, Reagan had more influence in the party. Reagan was the president of a labor union. George H.W. Bush was a two-term Representative, a UN ambassador for 2 years, and an envoy to China for 2 years. Reagan was the Governor of California, a state larger than many countries, for 8 years. Which would you say is more impressive from an experience perspective? Being an ambassador to the UN and an envoy to a single country as well as a two-term Representative, or being a three-term governor of California? I don't think it is even close. Your mileage may vary.

But in arguing with me, you are pretty much making my original point. Voters from both parties don't seem to value foreign policy experience that much. After all, the President Reagan replaced was Jimmy Carter, a Democrat with no foreign policy experience worth mentioning when he was nominated. In the election to replace Ronald Reagan, the Democrats ran Michael Dukakis, who had no foreign policy experience worth mentioning. The President who followed George H.W. Bush was Bill Clinton, a Democrat with no foreign policy experience worth mentioning when was nominated.

The recent Presidential candidates with any foreign policy experience of note got it primarily by being Vice-President. George H. W. Bush is one exception in that he had some before being VP, although it is quite likely that he would never have been President had he not been Vice-President.

Luckyoldson said...

Fen says this about little Georgie:

"He's a bad public speaker. You think this means he's stupid, which speaks more to your intelligence than his."

He's not only poor at public speaking he's poor at articulating almost anything that relates to the reasoning behind his policies or decisions.

For him to continue to say the surge is working (as record numbers of Iraqis are being blown up and near record numbers of Americans are being killed) or that he's more confident in Gonzales (even after hearing his bumbling,inane testimony), further illustrates the fact that he's not just poor in the art of "articulation," but just plain dense.

This is a President who, without a script, can hardly form a simple sentence. (Take a look at the video of his town hall meeting last week if you really need an example of something that is painful to watch at best.)

And in terms of basic "intelligence," where would you rank him in relation to Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr. or Clinton?

*Let me give you a hint: He's not in the top 6.

EnigmatiCore said...

"And in terms of basic "intelligence," where would you rank him in relation to Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr. or Clinton?"

Ahead of Carter, with plenty of room to spare.

The others were pretty darn bright, though.

hdhouse said...

One would NEVER dare say Bush is over achieving. Actually he is meeting my expectations.

As to Richardson, I'll say it again, he should be someone's running mate and, if not a keystone in the cabinet...and I find myself in agreement with Ann's evaluation.

Luckyoldson said...

EnigmatiCore,
If you actually think George W. Bush is more intelligent than Jimmy Carter you really need to read more and talk less.

The partisan moderate said...

Enigmaticore, it seems that the original point that you hoped to convey varied from what you wrote.

You wrote, "Moreover, your comment, "Candidates (for either party) with foreign policy experience are few and far between" which is inaccurate.

What you seem to now be saying is that America typically elects those without foreign policy experience.

I would agree with the latter point but not with the former. You still never addressed my point about Bush II having little political experience.

I would also have to disagree with your remark that CIA is not a political position. Arguably, it should not be one but it does tend to be a position where Directors have to be cognizant of politics.

BTW, you are entirely correct that Bush II is smarter than Carter. Carter is quite simply an idiot. Unfortunately, Carter also fancies himself a great geopolitical strategist and does incredible damage. On the eve of the first Gulf War, he actually lobbied the UN not to support it. He undercut the Clinton administration in their dealings with North Korea and he helped certify Chavez's election, which numerous people have contended was fraudulent just to name a few of his sins.

I personally, believe Bush II is considerably more intelligent than people give him credit for. After Nixon, Clinton, and LBJ, I would put him fourth on that list.

Luckyoldson, I would be curious what college or graduate school you went to. Usually, people who make comments about someone who graduated from Yale and Harvard, tend to come from second and third tier schools.

Fen said...

LuckyOldSon: For him to continue to say the surge is working (as record numbers of Iraqis are being blown up and near record numbers of Americans are being killed)

But the surge is working. Ask Petraeus:

"Sure, we are actually ahead of where I wanted to be in some areas and probably behind where we might have hoped to be in some other areas. We are ahead, I think, with respect, as I mentioned, to the reduction of sectarian murders in Baghdad. Progress in Anbar is almost something that's breathtaking. We have made huge inroads. I think that you just saw an announcement -- the killing of the security emir of al Qaeda Iraq in eastern Anbar province, the detention of the Qazali network. This is the secret cells of the Shi'a extremist network. I'm not sure whether we've announced it, but we picked up the Shavani (ph) network head in Iraq. That's the explosively formed projectile element inside Iraq that gets from the other in Iran the explosively formed projectiles. We have learned a great deal more about Iranian involvement, very nefarious involvement involving funding, training on Iranian soil, advice and the provision of, again, lots of arms and ammunition, including these explosively formed projectiles that have been so lethal against some of our armored vehicles."

[Bush is] just plain dense.

Either that, or you are being dishonest. I'll go with experience and say the latter.

Fen said...

LuckyOldSon: EnigmatiCore,
If you actually think George W. Bush is more intelligent than Jimmy Carter you really need to read more and talk less.


Just don't read Jimmy Carter, as that would undermine Lucky's position ;)

EnigmatiCore said...

Luckyoldson,

Jimmy Carter is out of his depth in a parking lot puddle. He was as useful as a screen door on a submarine, remains as bright as a two watt bulb, and most of all is as sharp as a marble.

But other than that he is an intellectual giant.

EnigmatiCore said...

Partisan moderate,

You are the one who is straying from your point. You said "Bruce, your comments border on the absurd. Republicans have turned down plenty of people with good gov. experience in favor of neophytes."

Giving George W. Bush as an example does not meet the threshold of turning down "plenty" of people with good gov. experiences in favor of "neophytes." To meet that threshold, you would have to come up with several examples, not one. You tried to use Reagan as an example, but he was anything but a political neophyte, and there is a pretty good case to be made that his experience was more significant than that of George H.W. Bush when they both ran for the nomination in 1980.

In addition, focusing in on foreign policy experience is silly. Neither party tends to nominate candidates with significant amounts of that, and the public has tended to not choose who gets their vote on that criteria.

Fen said...

Reagan's lack of foreign policy experience....hmmm.... Reagan crafted the policy that we could win the Cold War, not just endure the status quo that all the "professional" policy wonks were maintaining. Perhaps a lack foreign policy experience isn't always so bad.