Richardson’s Meet the Press appearance: two perspectives

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Gov. Bill Richardson was interview by Tim Russert on Meet The Press this weekend. Depending on who you ask, Richardson either “held his own” or “self destructed.”

For the local perspective, let’s check in with Heath Haussamen:

Gov. Bill Richardson took a beating on Sunday from the host of NBC’s Meet The Press, but he managed to stay calm and composed and held his own during a tough round of questioning.

All things considered, I don’t think he’ll gain in the polls as a result of the hour-long interview, but I also don’t think he’s going to lose support.

Tim Russert asked a series of questions on just about every controversy or flip flop in Richardson’s past. None appeared to catch Richardson off guard. Though many of his answers weren’t completely satisfying, under the circumstances, his performance was about as good as could be expected.

Moving on to a national observer, let’s see what Slate’s John Dickerson has to say (hat tip to Ezra):

Richardson’s many parries and contradictions might have been the work of a candidate who recognizes the world’s complexity, but they weren’t. He seemed not too thoughtful, but too little prepared. When he tried to explain the contradictions, like his shift on the immigration bill from supporting it to opposing it, his responses were meandering. Sometimes, he contradicted himself within just a few breaths. After explaining why he changed positions on the assault-weapons ban, he broadly asserted, “I don’t change my positions.” And on one of his core pitch-points—his diplomatic sixth sense for the world and the Middle East in particular—he had to admit that on Iraq, the blockbuster of the day, his skill failed him. For a long-shot candidate with limited opportunities to break through as a fresh new face, he missed his chance wildly.

Both Haussamen and Dickerson offer some solid, though differing, analysis. If you’re looking for some insight into whether Richardson will break out as a candidate, these links should give you some.

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