Skip to comments.Richardson Campaign Ends in North Korea
Posted on 04/11/2007 8:24:52 AM PDT by yoe
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson may have just ended his fledgling campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, shipwrecked on the rocky coast of North Korea.
Although Richardson's trip to North Korea was authorized by the White House, how it played out must have come to a surprise to White House advisors, let alone to Richardson himself.
The former energy secretary and popular New Mexico Democrat had gone to the hermit kingdom to claim the remains of six U.S. soldiers killed during the Korean War. He was also expected to deliver a tough message from Washington, that the United States expected North Korea to uphold the 60-day deadline that expires next week for shutting down its nuclear weapons programs.
Instead, Richardson was sandbagged by his North Korean hosts yesterday when he was taken on a guided tour of the USS Pueblo, the "spy ship" attacked and seized by North Korea in international waters on Jan. 23, 1968. One U.S. sailor was killed during the North Korean attack.
The Pueblo's 82-man crew was held hostage by the communist regime for 11 months. North Korea has never paid a price for its act of piracy.
Veterans of the ship have set up a memorial Web site to keep alive the memory of their captivity and to document how they were abandoned by the U.S. Navy during an authorized mission to gather intelligence in international waters off North Korea's coasts.
Today the ship is moored in the Taedong river in the capital, Pyongyang. Schoolchildren are taken on guided tours of the ship to see the face of American "imperialism." While on board the Pueblo, Richardson gamely watched a propaganda film denouncing the United States, and was captured in the act by NBC News reporter Andrea Mitchell.
Footage of Richardson on the Pueblo, standing alongside his smirking North Korea hosts, will haunt him for their rest of his political career. His posture will be compared unfavorably to the 1988 campaign photographs of Michael Dukakis trying to ride a tank. Richardson's outrageous kow-towing to the North Koreans makes Dukakis look like an all-American hero, or a four-star general.
This is what happens when the White House tries to placate the opposition party by sending a leading Democrat on a diplomatic mission that should be reserved for professional diplomats. When Richardson realized he was being taken to the Pueblo, he should have politely refused the North Korean offer. Instead, he chose to play to the cameras.
"You don't have to be a professional diplomat to understand the I spit on your grave' transaction the North Koreans were proposing," says American Enterprise Institute scholar Nicholas Eberstadt. But Richardson is not the first high-ranking U.S. visitor to serve as a "stage-prop" for North Korean propaganda.
In one of her last official visits as secretary of state in December 2000, Madeline Albright visited North Korea and was "dancing in the streets" at a huge propaganda festival arranged in her honor, Eberstadt recalled.
As for the Pueblo, Eberstadt said the North Koreans regularly trot it out when "it's serious shakedown time," then put it back into mothballs.
Couldn’t happen to a nicer clintonite.
Appeasement kills. When will they learn?
As I said in another thread, this is not a bad move for the White House. It puts the Defeatocrats in a position of fish or cut bait. If they support it, they are the appeasment cut and run party, if they denounce it, they show support for the Bush policy.
This article doesn’t appear to be very representative of reality.
1. Richardson is not the main guy on the trip - that was Victor Cha - the President’s representative. Richardson provided political balance and a “face.”
2. The trip wasn’t mainly about POW remains or the Pueblo - It was about nuclear negotiations and Chinese banks being black listed for dealings with North Korea. China has frozen those accounts.
3. The deal here is to close the Yongbyon nuclear reactor in exchange for unfreezing the money.
4. Richardson is barely a candidate for President in the first place - he says he is content to be in the second tier. He is more likely to be a VP candidate and this trip certainly did not hurt him.
There was a time when it was really hard to read NewsMax because they ran deliberately false articles - the one about Libya planning to attack us with suicide bombers when the actual transcript was Quafdafi explaining why he was drastically cutting the military budget saying that they were not going to have any offensive military actions and that if they were invaded they could defend the country with suicide bombers.
This article takes us back to bad times for NewsMax.
I'm sure that Rove set him up for the pic with his thumb up his backside on the USS "Pueblo"... How ironic!
He will Hilliary’s choice for VP to go after the hispanic vote because they are losing the black vote. If Obama were smart and a little less liberal he should have switched to the republican ticket.
>>He will Hilliarys choice for VP to go after the hispanic vote because they are losing the black vote. If Obama were smart and a little less liberal he should have switched to the republican ticket.<<
With none of the likely nominees coming from the West Richardson could be seen as good ticket balance. By remaining a non-serious candidate he can raise money and keep a profile but not be under any attack - its a fairly smart approach.
I happen to not particularly like him but frankly I don’t like any of the Democratic candidates.
actually, i think it was fatal. richardson was too stupid to avoid walking into the trap the North Koreans set for him...
“Poor Bill... he always looks like an unmade bed anyway.”
LOL!!!! He should have taken the cleaning lady (Mad Halfbright) with him!! Maybe she could have given him a good fluff and fold!
This is hilarious!
So far as the public and MSM are concerned this was Richardson’s mission, no matter what the underlying reality might have been. Richardson is the only name I have seen or heard mentioned until your post. The other guys are nonentities for publicity purposes, good or bad , and MSM has already cast it that way. It won’t play well for MSM to suddenly “realize” that Richardson was a figurehead and that won’t look too good for Richardson either. Democrats lose this one. It is a tiny loss but a loss nevertheless.
I wonder how many votes Richardson thought he was going to drum up in Pyongyang.
I don’t either. Sooner or later, someone will emerge with the aim of ending the polarization of the country. Forget the far left and right and aim at bring likeminded people together. There has to be common ground which means a little good and a little bad that all have to swallow. The dems wanted to lead now and they have their shot. But GW could put them to the task and hold them to their word when they said they wanted to end the rabid partisanship. He could just come out and state that he will not sign any bill into law that does not have a good measure of bipartisan support. Sounds Idealistic, but I don’t hear anything good coming out of either side anymore.
>>actually, i think it was fatal. richardson was too stupid to avoid walking into the trap the North Koreans set for him...<<
The Democrats think we should be negotiating with North Korea and this trip was all about the Bush administration negotiating with North Korea so I’m really not conivnced this hurts Richardson.
The trip was a coordinated effort. While Cha and Richardson were in North korea “U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill is surrounded by reporters after he meets with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, also the chief Chinese envoy to international talks on North Korea’s nuclear program, in Seoul”
There is an AP story about that part but its not getting wide distribution. I don’t blame individuals for not knowing the whole story but I do blame NewsMax for skipping the main story to take a shot a minor candidate.
>>Deadlock broken over North Korean funds
The United States said Tuesday that a financial deadlock stalling North Korean disarmament efforts has been broken and hinted that a looming deadline for action by the Stalinist state could be extended.
With just days to go before a weekend deadline for North Korea to shut down its main nuclear facility, the State Department said a stalemate over the release of $25 million in frozen North Korean bank accounts had been cleared.<<
yeah but a pixs worth a 1000 words haha
>>yeah but a pixs worth a 1000 words haha<<
There surely is truth in that...
The word out of NM is that the North Koreans approached Richardson about the trip and he cleared it with the administration, who added their representatives so it would be bi-partisan (Richardson's traveling companion was Bush's former Veteran Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi).