Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Score One for Hillary

Fresh off his official (but super anticlimactic) announcement in Los Angeles last week, Bill Richardson must be feeling a bit down today. The reason: LA Mayor Antonio Villariagosa, one of the country's most talented and energetic Latino pols, just endorsed Big Bill rival Hillary Clinton. Villariagosa must be betting that Hillary is most likely to win, while Richardson isn't... despite his perfect Spanish and Mexican-American heritage. Still, its gotta be a big blow for Big Bill.

As a matter of comparison, can anyone seriously imagine former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington or former NYC Mayor David Dinkins NOT endorsing Jesse Jackson during his historic runs for the White House back in the '80s. Not a chance. Fast forward to Richardson's historic run two decades later, and he seems unable to generate the same kind of ethnic appeal and solidarity.

That probably speaks to how Richardson has been able to (successfully) transcend his ethnic identity for most of his career, not just with an Anglo last name, but more importantly with his own political decisions to focus on foreign policy, for example, rather than immigration or civil rights issues.

In some ways, Richardson has been a victim of his own success.

1 comment:

Karol said...

Victim of his own success is not necessarily true. He's a victim of not having coattails that anyone wants to ride on. Villarigosa wants something - the star by his name that says he picked the right one.