Can Richardson Benefit From Sin City?

While the media concentrates on the national polls, the candidates know that a strong showing in the early primaries and caucuses is what really counts. It has often been noted how John Edwards is concentrating on Iowa, hoping to repeat John Kerry’s strategy. Less well noticed is Bill Richardson’s concentration on Nevada as the major candidates are paying less attention to the state.

Richardson is obviously a long shot, but a victory in an early state such as Nevada could propel him into the top tier. He has broken the ten percent barrier in both Iowa and New Hampshire, putting him in a position to win one and do respectably in the other two early contests. Unfortunately candidates such as Richardson may have a harder time than in earlier years due to the calendar which doesn’t leave much time for candidates to take advantage of an early win before most of the delegates are chosen.

Richardson will also have a book out on energy and the environment this fall which might give him a bounce going into the primaries and caucuses. He will need to improve his skills on television, after disappointing appearances on Meet the Press and in the last debate.

Maybe concentrating on Nevada could help in another way. Richardson has attracted the attention of libertarians, and so far this year there are no candidates who have been particularly appealing to us “small-l libertarians” who seek a candidate who is socially liberal but more econmically conservative. Perhaps Richardson could use campaigning in Nevada to highlight a socially liberal platform. There is always the risk that this could backfire as there is a narrow line between being seen as socially liberal and being too closely identified with “Sin City,” but at this point Richardson needs to gamble a bit. That might be fitting advice for someone who is already concentrating on Nevada.

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2 Comments

  1. 1
    Stephen Fox says:

    I am so glad to see that you appear to be warming a bit to Richardson’s campaign. He is my governor, and I have known him for 29 years. What he has achieved vis a vis the New Mexico Legislature is quite remarkable, but I won’t recite the accomplishments. I do want to see him President. I am not connected officially to his campaign.

    The so called top tier candidates together, all 3 of them, have a collective resume still lesser in quality to Richardson! I am certain that Richardson’s real genius and his strongest suit is in international affairs, and that will be vital, if we are going to even attempt to rebuild the shattered US image internationally, after six years of Halliburton-driven corporate kleptocracy. His debate skills have not been as honed and polished as the 3 lawyers in so-called top tier, but that is fixable.

    His biography is great (Between Worlds: the Making of an American Life), and I hope the new books on Energy Policy is going to be just as good.

    Here is what I consider the bottom line: you don’t have to be a Marxian or Hegelian or a Ph.D Economist to comprehend that our domestic economy is suffering and going to get worse resulting from the on-going international implications of the screwed up foreign policy of this administration, so thoroughly based on corporate needs and demands; as long as we continue to see appointments like Bush’s trade negotiator Zoelick made over into President of the World Bank to replace “Wolfiewits,” don’t expect ANY major improvements in the last two years of Bush’s tenure, especially in the trickle down economic realms.

    Richardson has made it clear that Congress could deauthorize the Iraq War, and that he personally would end it the first day of his Presidency.

    My prediction: Richardson is going to win in Nevada, and he is going to do very very well in Iowa, New Hampshire, and California, I think winning in at least one more of those states.
    Mr. Chusid: your advice and your ideas in general are both very well thought out, and the little libertarian point of view, as you put it, is far more valuable and widespread than you might view otherwise! May I sugest that you directly communicate to David Contarino and Amanda Cooper, his Campaign Manager, and Deputy CM? These people are very open to new ideas, questions, strategies, insights, etc., and I encourage anyone reading to take the time to contact them by phone or by email.

    Truly,
    Stephen Fox
    New Millennium Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Stephen,

    “I am so glad to see that you appear to be warming a bit to Richardson’s campaign.”

    While I’ve been critical of some of Richardson’s campaigning (and couldn’t resist a little snark on one of the minor issues in a previous post) for the most part coverage of him has been quite favorable. You make a good point that “His debate skills have not been as honed and polished as the 3 lawyers in so-called top tier, but that is fixable.” Some of the major problems have been fixable problems related to campaignng as opposed to problems with policies. Of course he will have to show that he can do a better job campaigning than he did in the last debate and on Meet the Press before many people will feel comfortable in his ability to win.

    “My prediction: Richardson is going to win in Nevada, and he is going to do very very well in Iowa, New Hampshire, and California, I think winning in at least one more of those states.”

    Nevada looks like a fair bet. The other states are up in the air. It will be interesting to see if he can do well in California.

    “your advice and your ideas in general are both very well thought out, and the little libertarian point of view, as you put it, is far more valuable and widespread than you might view otherwise!”

    The idea of “small-l libertarianism” (small-l to differentiate both from hard core totally anti-government libertarians, as well as the Libertarian Party) is something I’ve had many posts on here. I’m hoping that Ricardson takes more of this approach. Of course, to be meanngful, this would have to come out of his own positions, not just campaign strategy.

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