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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Is This a Hint About Those Rumors Dogging Gov. Bill Richardson?



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Poor Bill Richardson.

A few posts below, I noted the odd, vague comments from Brit Hume back in 2004, when he said that Richardson was rejected as a possible running mate for Al Gore because he had done something “politically incorrect.”

Well, now some details are dribbling out from that noted right-wing rag, known for its relentless desire to smear any Democratic candidate that it can… the, um, Huffington Post, from Steve Clemons, a former policy advisor to Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-New Mexico.

I will frame this as a “question” for Bill Richardson.

Have you behaved inappropriately or not in public settings with female members of your government administration, jokingly or not? Have you gestured to female public servants and political appointees — who work as colleagues with you — and made lewd gestures, specifically pointing to them and then pointing at your crotch with a room full of media and other politicos there in the room?

I ask this not to demean or undermine Richardson.

I ask it because I was not in the room when this particular incident occurred but many others were — and rumors have long swept around Santa Fe that Bill Richardson makes a constant festive joke out of demeaning women. These incidents don’t have to do with the comments by Lt. Governor Diane Denish that Richardson is a “touchy” and “feely” Governor. They have to do with questions about a far more crude kind of gesture that demeans professional women.

These concerns I have heard may be completely contrived, but after speaking with several senior level New Mexico officials, my sense is that it needs to at a minimum be addressed by the Governor who wants to be President. Some suggest that Richardson “can’t stop himself” or “doesn’t even realize what he is doing” or thinks that “this sort of thing is part of New Mexico’s political scene.”

Welcome to the race, Governor. Apparently some folks at the HuffPo would prefer another Democratic nominee.

UPDATE: Elsewhere, Mickey Kaus, in a brief, cryptic comment about Richardson, writes “skirts” in bold. Is this a hint, Mickey?


Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Fred Thompson , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson


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