"Richardson's value in Obama's Cabinet had everything to do with appearances. First, he was the Hispanic pick. Second, because Richardson had run against Obama for President, tapping him for the Cabinet helped the media write the Obama-Lincoln comparisons by burnishing the 'Team of Rivals' image.
"But Richardson withdrew before Obama was even inaugurated when news came out about a criminal investigation involving David Rubin, president of a firm named Chambers, Dunhill, Rubin & Co. (although there was no Chambers or Dunhill), who had donated at least $110,000 to Richardson's campaign committees and had also profited from $1.5 million in contracts from the state government.
"This was an early warning sign about Obama's vetting process (various tax problems and the Daschle problem would reveal this as a theme), but picking Richardson to run Commerce also highlighted that Obama and Richardson's promise of 'public-private partnerships' -- such as Detroit bailouts, Wall Street bailouts, and green energy--was an open door for corruption and was at odds with Obama's promise to diminish the influence of lobbyists.
"The Richardson mistake was one of Obama's first, and it was emblematic. Richardson embodied Obama's attention to self-image and the problems inherent in his vision of an intimate business-government connection."
Sunday, April 26, 2009
100 Days, 100 Mistakes; Carney in the NY Post
The New York Post this weekend runs its 100 days feature titled "100 Days, 100 Mistakes." They invited me to write one of those mistakes--a sort of mini-essay. I picked Bill Richardson:
at 8:57 PM