Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Bill Richardson is "Pinchy"

We can understand how a female reporter might get "annoyed" at Bill Richardson's intensely physical Western States just-cleared-some-brush manner, but this is not news. Bill Richardson pinches and pokes and prods people -- men and women equally -- because that is his nature. He is intensely physical; Richardson is the World record holder for most handshakes in a single day (13392). Please lets not make this into a sexual harassment issue, because it isn't. Some people are actually physical, just as some people are naturally intellectual and some people are naturally emotional. Bill Richardson was on a pretty tough baseball team and in his biography he notes that that is one of the reasons he is a physical guy. He carried on that kind of roughness, which served him well in his political career. Even men have noted over the years that Richardson can roughhouse a bit more than the average civilized adult might like to be around. But that doesn't make him a bad person. It's kind of refreshing to see a man's man, as opposed to, say John Kerry (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). Says The Politico:

"New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's 2008 presidential campaign has been burdened by unusually public discussion about his behavior with women.

"The lieutenant governor of New Mexico, Diane Denish was quoted in the Albuquerque Journal saying she avoids standing or sitting near Richardson because of his physical manner, which she said was not improper but was 'annoying.' The governor, she said, 'pinches my neck. He touches my hip, my thigh, sort of the side of my leg.'"

Does he do the Indian burn thing? Why, that may be the precise reason that Bill Richardson is a cause celebre in the decreasing ranks of the world's most brutal despots. The "Pinchy" Governor of New Mexico is all the rage in The Sudan, for example. They like a grown man who can throw and take a slap-chop, chew some toacco and slaughter a few goats every once in a while. They're Old Scxhool Manly that way. By contrast, the "academic" Henry Kissinger flinched when Brezhnev felled a wild boar with one shot of his Kalishnikov. The result? Two decades more of Cold War. From the David Brooks of the Gray Lady:

"Finally, there is the matter of his personal style. This is his biggest drawback. He’s baggy-faced, sloppy (we like our leaders well groomed), shamelessly ambitious and inelegant. On the other hand, once a century or so the Democratic Party actually nominates somebody the average person would like to have a beer with. Bill Richardson is that kind of guy.

"He is garrulous, amusing, touchy-feely (to a fault), a little rough-edged and comfortably mass-market. He’s Budweiser, not microbrew."

You know what? We actually rather like Richardson; Gore-Richardson to go against the inevitable McCain-Lieberman? What say you ...

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