Thursday, September 06, 2007

Richardson for VP or Secretary of State if he misses Brass Ring?

Bill Richardson has a long article detailing his agenda on foreign policy in the Harvard International Review on Foreign Policy.

I am fortunate to have gotten to know Bill personally and to have had long discussions of foreign policy with him, once after a fund-raiser my wife & I gave him at our home in DC in the eighties.

People are unaware that Bill not only has an advanced degree from the Fletcher School of Diplomacy, but served as a staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after getting his Fletcher MA. To get such a job, you have to be really well-connected or really smart. Bill is smarter than he is well-connected.

I am beholden to him personally because he put several articles of mine into the Congressional Record back when I was writing in the Christian Science Monitor & Oil Daily. Plus, before I met her or him, Bill was kind enough to help my wife get a job as Legislative Assistant to Sen. Paul Sarbanes, so I am further biased in his favor.

When I was Vice Consul in Lyon France, Peter Tarnoff took me to dinner on two occasions with Richard Holbrooke, who at the time was starting up Foreign Policy magazine and heading up the Peace Corps in Morocco. Over three-star Michelin meals in Lyon, we had long talks about a lot of foreign policy subjects.

If Bill Richardson isn’t V.P. and a Dem administration is elected, he should be named Sec’y of State rather than Holbrooke, IMHO. Holbrooke is the paradigm of the old DC adage, "it’s not what you know, it’s who you know." Bill is both—he knows everybody and he [to my meager experience between the two] knows more about foreign policy than Dick Holbrooke. And about energy[Sec’y of Energy], the legislative process [he was House Whip for the Dems], and finally he was Ambassador to the UN just like Holbrooke.

I think his deep knowledge of energy issues & long experience on the Hill would make Bill a better SecState than Holbrooke, all other things being equal.

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