Richardson: The Cost of Candor

He's the most natural of the candidates, for better or worse
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 21, 2007 6:35 AM CDT
Richardson: The Cost of Candor
A technician adjusts a microphone on Democratic presidential hopeful New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as Richardson speaks during the American Association for Justice Presidential Forum Sunday, July 15, 2007, in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)   (Associated Press)

If you think the candidates are all overly scripted, you haven't met Bill Richardson, writes Salon political columnist Walter Shapiro. The fourth-place Dem is so incautious that he ad-libs policy points at debates, and on the stump apologizes for inconsistencies with the cheerful caveat: “my mind is mush.”

Shapiro applauds Richardson’s maverick streak. Decidedly right-wing on guns (an ‘A’ rating from the NRA) and economically centrist (“I’m not going to rail against rich persons”), Richardson’s also the only major Democrat calling for complete withdrawal from Iraq. But it adds up to a bit of a blur. The candidate notes with what might be too much candor: "I admit that I don''t have my shtick down." (More troop withdrawal stories.)

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