Despite unattributed accounts of depression, Former President Bill Clinton apparently has taken Governor Bill Richardson's endorsement of Barack Obama in stride, saying that he agrees with his wife that Richardson's support is meaningless now that all the Hispanics have already voted.
"It was a betrayal, I suppose," Clinton said philosophically, "in the sense that Bill wouldn't have a national platform to speak from if not for the grace of me. I mean, I gave him the job of Secretary of Energy and never asked for anything in return. And later on, when he wanted something a little more high profile, I gave him the job of U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Did I ask him for any quid pro quo at the time? No I did not. I guess, when I really think about it, the only thing I ever asked Bill Richardson for was late last year, when he wisely abandoned his own run for the Democratic nomination. I asked for him to give props to Hillary, but I guess that was just too much for him to handle."
"You know, back a few weeks ago, Bill asked me to come down to his place and watch the Super Bowl at the Governor's Mansion in New Mexico. That's not exactly a hop, skip and a jump, so I was prepared for some fancy fixins, I mean, this was the Superbowl, and I could have gone anywhere to watch it, and, coincidentally, gotten anything I wanted to eat. I could have gotten tickets to see the Super Bowl live - that's a prerogative of all ex-Presidents. But no, because Hillary asked me, I went to watch it with Bill Richardson."
"Like I said, I was expecting some fancy fixins, at least something as good as I could have gotten at Buffalo Wild Wings, where, by the way, they always give me a special chair, because a president's butt gets as tired from sitting as a common man's does. And what I'm offered by Richardson is a Corona Light, and Ranch Doritos, right from the bag, not in a bowl, and certainly not as an ingredient in a plate of nachos, which I assumed every Hispanic American knows how to make."
"'Where's your cook?', I asked him, because Richardson has a damn good cook, I know that from the time I visited when he was asking about being the U.N. ambassador. She's a white lady, oddly enough, name of Gladys. Good cook. He tells me that he let her off for the Super Bowl. Can you imagine that? I'm all for the welfare state, but this is ridiculous."
"I'm not kidding you when I say that even before the kickoff, we had run out of beer and Doritos. It was the $1.79 bag, for Christ's sake. And Richardson is just sitting there, happy as a clam - I know him to be an easy buzz, but what about me? I'm the guest. So I give Sanchez - he's one of my favorite Secret Service guys - a C-note and tell him to go get us properly fixed up. Ribs, wings, nachos, and adequate cervezas to get us through the game. And don't you just know it? Richardson doesn't even kick in as much as a twenty. It's his house, his party, he's got the only comfortable seat in the room, go figure."
"Okay, I'm not one to put on airs, I've made a lot of money since I've left the presidency, I can afford it, even though I'm the guest. And Hillary really needs the endorsement, at least that's what I thought back then, before everything started going her way."
"'Bill, when you gonna endorse Hill?'', I asked him. And he pulls on his beer - which is empty, by the way, I think that's the first time he's noticed it - and he tells me 'Today. That is, if your team is able to beat my Patriots'. Well, I hadn't even talked bet one with the Governor, so this was heaven-sent. Hillary had been telling me all week long that the Giants were going all the way, and I knew she had the judgment to make that call. That's the sort of experience you don't just bring in off of the streets."
"It was a long game, I'll grant you that. And many times during those four quarters, I felt my faith waver - I've just never felt all that confident in Eli Manning. And at the end I got up and farted, feeling all the weight of the day wafting away from me."
"'Let's go make that endorsement', I tell the man, and do you know what he says? 'Sorry, I'm too drunk'. Oh, for crying out loud, I've got a ten o' clock flight back to Puerto Rico, and Richardson is too drunk to endorse. Thing is, he was too drunk. He gets himself a little sloppy, and I think it's to the best that I didn't push it."
"But I did call him back every day after that. At first he would pick up, but it wasn't long before it was some secretary, assuring me that that he would call right back, and don't you know it, he never did."
"So when I say Richardson acted kind of like a modern Judas - albeit a Judas that we didn't really need around here anymore anyway - giving his endorsement to... this metaphor isn't working, is it? But my point is that real Americans, ones that love their country and understand what it's all about like Hillary and John McCain, I don't think they would accept the endorsement of someone who welched on a Super Bowl bet."
©2008, Mark Hoback