The (Sour) Grapes of (Clinton's) Wrath

The New York Times writes about the struggle Bill Richardson found himself in by choosing to endorse Barack Obama instead of the wife of his former boss. What struck me though, was this quote by James Carville, a current advisor to Hillary and a longtime member of the Clintonista inner circle.

Mr. Clinton helped elevate Mr. Richardson to the national stage by naming him his energy secretary and ambassador to the United Nations. And Mr. Clinton left no doubt that he viewed Mr. Richardson’s support as important to his wife’s campaign: He even flew to New Mexico to watch the Super Bowl with Mr. Richardson as part of the Clintons’ high-profile courtship of him.

But Mr. Richardson stopped returning Mr. Clinton’s calls days ago, Mr. Clinton’s aides said. And as of Friday, Mr. Richardson said, he had yet to pick up the phone to tell Mr. Clinton of his decision.

The reaction of some of Mr. Clinton’s allies suggests that might have been a wise decision. “An act of betrayal,” said James Carville, an adviser to Mrs. Clinton and a friend of Mr. Clinton.

“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic,” Mr. Carville said, referring to Holy Week.

Look, I’m not a Democrat. I’m no liberal (thank God), but human decency demands that I stick up for Bill Richardson here. That kind of comment from Carville is just pure crap, plain and simple, and it illustrates the selfishness fueling the Clinton campaign. Richardson, for the sake of party unity, is helping the Democrats put an end to this futile primary. Carville calling him a “Judas” is offensive, and he should be ashamed of himself. Moreover, he should apologize to Richardson personally, and publicly. Hillary should demand he does.

But of course, we know she won’t.

UPDATE: Carville stands by his comment.

Technorati Tags:
2008 Election, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Hillary Clinton, James Carville, DNC


  1. Trillium says:

    This really caught my attention too. I think it is one more piece of evidence that the Hillary campaign sees everything in purely instrumental terms. They don’t really respect colleagues, or states, or voters as being intrinsically worthy of respect. Instead, they are treated as great and wonderful if they are currently voting for or supporting the campaign, and if they don’t they are trash or trivial. Michigan and Florida voters, for example, were treated as irrelevant until it looked like they might be strategically useful, and now Hillary is supposedly filled with concern for them.

    Given this general HRC campaign attitude it is not surprising to me how many former supporters of the Clintons are abandoning them. in the absence of a true human bond and connection, loyalty is meaningless or makes you a sucker. Bill R seems like a decent human being who really struggled with his decision because of (what he views as) his genuine friendship with the Clintons. Obama also seems like a decent human being who has really struggled with the political fallout caused by his relationship with family friend Wright — but chose not to throw him under the bus. I respect both of them, without necessarily admiring either Bill R’s friends the Clintons or Obama’s friend and pastor Wright.

    (By the way, if you look at the whole sermon from which the “chickens come him” comment is clipped it turns out Wright is actually QUOTING someone else — former US ambassador to Iraq Edward Peck, who worked for Reagan. So Obama’s claim that the pasted together video of selected clips creates a distorted picture of Wright seems quite plausible to me. )

  2. Gail Mountain says:

    Amazing how many love to leave the important details out of their commentary. Like, Richardson was quite clear that he believed Super Delegates should vote the way of their constituents and then turned around and did the opposite. And, please, do not tell me that New Mexico was a small win for Senator Clinton, a win is a win — quite plain and simple. Then, his reasoning is that Obama is a (and I paraphrase) very special person, although he doesn’t know why. There’s a reason Richardson was an embarrassing candidate for President. And he’s now confirmed that he’s just an embarrassing person. As for Carville, a clear example of how we demand the truth of those who are politicians and who work with and for politicians and then condemn them for speaking their own truth. Go Hillary, I say.

  3. If Richardson is Judas in this scenario, is Hillary the Messiah?

    Typical Clintonian gutter politics. Limbaugh has said that Obama may win the nomination, but Hillary will be the candidate. At first I thought he was right, but now I see that the more people like Richardson who jump ship, the harder it will be for the Clintons to steal the thing.

  4. Someone please tell James that country comes first, then democratic party and then loyalty to Clintons who are bent on ruining the first two.

  5. In the lowest circle of Hell and closest to Satan in Dante’s Inferno, a great, great world classic, are the betrayors. Richardson has joined them.

    He should be critisized. A person’s character in the end is more important than a percieved political advantage. He owess everything he has to the Clintons. Now his weak and self serving character is outed like Obama and his hater, 20 year pastor relationship. Its also too late to have much effect. He was too cowardly to make this announcement sooner. I am very, very dissappointed with Richardson who I used to admire, but no longer.

    I am 59, and a successful business person and parent. I have great friendships and loyal friends and associations. Also, I been betrayed by weak and self serving people in all arenas. Their own weakness usually takes them down in the final analysis.

  6. Richardson is the one who should be ashamed of himself. Pure disappointment in Richardson. The Clintons made his political career and as he felt the tide was turning for Obama he ditched his old friends. What does that say about his character? I think he’s always been in it for the VP spot. He alluded to this (as Clinton’s VP) during the debates when Hillary was leading in the polls. I think Hillary has been treated so unfairly by party insiders and the media that it has really turned me off of the Democratic Party. If Obama gets the nomination I, as well as many others that I talk to, will vote for Sen. McCain in the fall. I am so sick of supporting an ever-losing party. The Democrats have mastered the art of losing. There is no way that Obama can win the general…he’s just too liberal (the most liberal senator actually.) Imagine if there is an international incident and he is standing there beside John McCain. It is just too one-sided. Obama is also fatally flawed because of the reverend issue. I don’t fault Obama for something his reverend said but the image of that hateful speech while the congregation went nuts plays right into the fears that white Americans privately have. What a mess.

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