As several Democratic candidates, including Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, scrambled to take shots at Sen. Hillary Clinton during the MSNBC debate this week, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson tried to assert himself as the voice of reason.
In interviews and at the debate itself, Richardson accused his rivals of launching personal attacks and treating Clinton unfairly.
Richardson also took advantage of his “column on the Huffington Post”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gov-bill-richardson/stop-the-insanity-no-war_b_70760.html to write about his opposition to potential war with Iran.
“Saber-rattling is not a good way to get the Iranians to cooperate and work with us for peace,” Richardson wrote. “But it is a tried and true method of laying the groundwork for another war.”
The governor started the week off with an important endorsement for his New Hampshire campaign, from Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand, an influential state politician
The Boston Globe called it “the most significant development in Richardson’s New Hampshire campaign so far.”
“Unlike others on the stump, he’s offering bold plans, not just pandering talk,” Iacocca wrote. He also filmed a Web-only commercial for Richardson.
Some of Iacocca’s sentiments seem to be shared by The Nation’s John Nichols who wrote in a blog post that Richardson “actually chooses to engage in the fundamental debate about what America will be when it grows up.”
Nichols did, however, note that doesn’t mean he will be elected or that he would be the best president.
Richardson is reaching out to less conventional media to talk about his campaign, with an interview that will appear in the December Playboy magazine. He addressed some of his personal habits in the interview.
“Yeah, I swear. Yeah, I smoke a cigar occasionally. Yeah, I make mistakes. The American people should know who I am. I’m overweight; I’m trying to lose weight. But I’m comfortable with who I am,” Richardson said. “I don’t mope around at night worrying that I didn’t look good on Jay Leno - though I saw myself.”
And in a new mention of alien life forms — albeit slightly less publicized conversation than Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s UFO admission at the MSNBC debate — a curious attendee asked Richardson at a town hall in Round Rock, Texas. last week about the alleged conspiracy around the Roswell UFO incident.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Richardson responded that the documents were classified, but agreed to help the man get the files opened to the public if he was elected president.
Richardson is in Iowa Friday through Tuesday for campaign events.