There were two factions in the Clinton administration: the opportunists (the Bill wing) that didn’t care much about the merits of policy outcomes, and the true-believers (the Hillary wing) that cared passionately about increasing our government’s power over the life its citizens and about decreasing its power in the world.
Bill Richardson, who is running for president, was a member of the Clinton administration. The good news is that he was not a member of the Hillary wing; the bad news is that this makes him a member of the Bill wing.
When he was in Congress, Richardson had been a strong environmentalist. As Clinton’s Secretary of Energy, he skillfully used that reputation as a shield when he crossed the environmentalists. Someone who worked with Richardson at the Energy department describes him as a truly committed believer in situational ethics. In other words, a true Bill Clintonian
Richardson’s accomplishments at Energy were so limited that he once said his proudest one was building a new gym for Department employees. His one truly important accomplishment was the opening of a repository for transuranic waste (plutonium based, as opposed to high level waste) whose radioactivity is more immediately toxic and derives from fission products. This project is far less important than Yucca Mountain, which is intended to deal with high level waste and spent fuel, but is significant nonetheless. Interestingly, Richardson opened the repository in Carslbad, New Mexico, which wanted it. I’m told that, as governor of New Mexico, he used his knowledge of the Energy Department to create crises with respect to its big assets there (Los Alamos and the new transuranic repository) and then solve them.
That’s not the sort of problem-solver this country needs in the White House.
UPDATE: Over at the Forum WGPu writes:
For several years in the early