Monday, June 11, 2007

Bill Richardson on Iraq is Not Ambiguous

According to this article on Huffington Post, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson said yesterday on CNN's Late Edition, that he would pull all the troops out of Iraq. He claims that his position is different from all the other Democratic candidates who, according to him, are proposing that some American troops stay in Iraq for an indefinite period.

We are not sure about his claim, since Congressman Dennis Kucinich seems to be advocating that all American troops be removed from Iraq, but the one advantage that his proposal has is that it is very simple to understand. Ambiguity in politics can be fatal since it clouds the message a candidate is trying to deliver. Hillary Clinton, for example, appears to be trying to have it both ways as she calls for a deadline for American military involvement in Iraq but also seems to favor keeping troops in Iraq for an indefinite period of time.

One thing about Richardson is that he isn't serving in Washington. Unlike Clinton and Obama he is not subject to influence by the Beltway mentality. That mentality seems to believe that the United States can't just pull all its troops out of Iraq because of the "horrible" things that will supposedly happen if it does. Anyone proposing such a pull out is not treated seriously by the Washington pundits.

Interestingly, the same thing happened in 2004. Howard Dean, who repeatedly pointed out that the Iraq War was a huge mistake, was berated by the national press headquartered in Washington. John Kerry, who was ambiguous about the war, was promoted by the press over Dean. The Dean position, though, would have given Bush more of a problem in the general election, especially as compared to Kerry's "I voted for the bill before I voted against it."

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