Could New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s presidential campaign be in trouble? Earlier today, CNN’s Political Ticker blog reported Richardson’s South Carolina state co-chair Fletcher Smith is leaving the Richardson campaign because of Smith’s belief that Governor Richardson’s plan for the hasty withdrawal of American troops from Iraq is a bad idea.
“Right now we have a quicksand of a civil war, and I don’t believe we can just pull out precipitously in a six month period of time without jeopardizing our interests in the region. We don’t need another evacuation that we had in Vietnam.”
The loss of a campaign co-chair in an early primary state surely can’t be a good thing for the Richardson campaign, and what’s worse, the Richardson campaign stands poised to alienate Democratic voters throughout the Great Lakes region after Governor Richardson went on record as supporting the diversion of Great Lakes water to the southwest. A lot of folks here in the Great Lakes region – folks from both parties, I might add – are fiercely protective of the Great Lakes. Speaking about Governor Richardson’s comments, Wisconsin State Senator Rob Cowles, a Republican from Green Bay, said, “It’s another scary reminder that we need to get going and pass a compact – and a strong compact – so this kind of thing is off the table.”
As someone who’s supported Governor Richardson, I can honestly say I’m more than a little disappointed at his willingness to pander to folks in Las Vegas on an issue this important to folks here in the Great Lakes. I know Nevada’s going to be a key state for Governor Richardson early in the primary season, but considering his status as a “second tier” candidate for the Democrats, he’s hardly in any position to start alienating large groups of folks.
Now I don’t know that the loss of a key advisor and his comments about Great Lakes water will have a hugely negative impact on Governor Richardson’s presidential campaign, but they certainly won’t help things much.