Monday, January 22, 2007

From a Californian: "Why I'm supporting Bill Richardson for President"

Hi friends -

I read this terrific essay this morning and just had to share it with all of you:

Why I'm supporting Bill Richardson for President

They say all politics is local. No where did I find this more true than while living more than a dozen years in New Mexico. In a state of not quite two million people, with 1/3 of 'em in Albuquerque, the opportunities for meeting and perhaps even having a meaningful conversation with significant political figures were plentiful.

At the one nice and sort of politically connected hotel in town, I had the chance to meet and shake hands with both of our US senators (Bingaman and Domenici), two governors, various candidates, and I actually had a brief conversation with then congressman (not my district unfortunately) Bill Richardson on one of his fundraising trips. He even said hey to my young daughter, a cool moment lost on her, but not on me. Those were years when I felt that the common folk - like me - might actually have the opportunity to have an influence on the political life of the nation.

I moved to California a few years ago, and lost that personal touch with national politics. Tucked away in a distant corner of a monstrously huge state, far from the seats of power and money, we are neglected by anyone of national interest or importance. No one wants or needs to come by here, including our very own US senators and our cartoon governor. It's easy to become cynical about the state of national politics. And the local politics of fast food chain regulation, flouride paranoia, and agricultural zoning, though essential for creating and maintaining the loopy and free-form character of our neighborhood, seem petty when people are dying by the thousands in a war of choice led by liars and thieves.

So I hereby announce my support for Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico, as the next president of the United States. Why? Because I shook his hand once. Because he came to my little town and took a few moments to talk to me once, and ask me what I did for a living, and what I thought was the most important issue he should think about. And because he asked my daughter's name and flashed a smile and a hello at her.

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