After a difficult week with the Pastor Jeremiah Wright controversy, receiving the endorsement of New Mexico Governor, Bill Richardson, was welcome news for Barack Obama. This former Clinton loyalist showed courage in stepping out in favor of Obama and calling for party unity. It would have been easier to stay on the sidelines or to endorse Mrs. Clinton. Instead, he chose to act in support of what he called ‘an historic candidate’.
The response from James Carville, a well-known Clinton strategist, was to label Richardson ‘Judas’. Not the most elegant of phrases and very typical of negative politics and the attack on individuals. While Carville shows no remorse for an over the top comment, he reinforces the notion that the Clinton way of doing politics is the old way, not the new way. Carville sounds like an old political strategist with a sense of entitlement and the belief that politics is a bloodsport. In so doing, he reinforces the raison d’être of the Obama candidacy. The droves of young people once again engaging in political life is largely motivated by idealism, hope and the profound desire to transform American political life. The Obama campaign has channeled this enthusiasm and changed the way politics has been conducted in this primary season. Carville’s comment merely reinforces the need for change. This is the sense behind Richardson’s endorsement.