Presumably, his career has been helped along by being a twofer -- he's one of these new-fangled Mexican-Americans and he's a traditional preppie WASP Old Boy at the same time!
On paper, he sounds like a plausible Democratic nominee in 2008. To win, the Democrats don't seem to need to gamble on a high-risk candidate like the irascible Hillary or the sometimes brilliant but moody and self-absorbed Obama. They just need a guy who won't blow it for them. And yet,
Obama, who wrote a 442 page thematic autobiography about his being psychologically tortured by his lifelong resentment of his mother's race, is praised by people who obviously haven't read his book for being the "post-racial" man "comfortable in his own skin" who "transcends race." Ironically, all those phrases would seem to fit the sunny, glad-handing
Running for President,
Other times, Richardson sounds like the Washington insider he is.
He ends up seeming phony, which, combined with some veracity problems (e.g., he always claimed he was drafted by a big league baseball team, but he wasn't) and New Mexico's reputation as the Louisiana of the desert when it comes to crooked politicos, isn't helping his campaign.
The only other prominent American I can think of who was high WASP and Mexican (assuming the President's nephew George P. Bush is not a prominent American yet) was the CIA's paranoid genius spymaster James Jesus Angleton. (Matt Damon played him as a dull WASP in last year's oddly intentionally-less-interesting-than reality Robert De Niro movie "The Good Shepherd.") Angleton's father was a cavalry officer in Pershing's 1917 punitive expedition into Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa and his mother was a 17-year-old Mexican society beauty. Angleton was raised mostly in Italy where his father was an NCR executive and attended prep school in England.
May 31, 2007