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What’s That Up In The Air?

It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s Insurgent Candidate.

Governor Bill Richardson is not having a good press week. At a campaign stop in Iowa, Richardson made this “joke”:

Mr. Richardson gave a speech and held a question-and-answer session with about 150 people at the United Steelworkers Local 105 hall in Bettendorf as part of his tour through Iowa this week.

“If you want to be part of an insurgency, I’m it!” Mr. Richardson told the crowd, getting some laughs.

This was an odd choice of words for the Democratic candidate who supports immediate withdrawal from Iraq – an action that the insurgents in Iraq would applaud. And, one Iowan blogger points out that they might also appreciate the Governor’s efforts to redefined the word insurgent to mean underdog:

Mr. Richardson said later that being an insurgent candidate meant being the underdog, he said in a phone interview with The Dispatch/The Rock Island Argus/The Leader. “I don’t want to be an underdog much longer.”

Unfortunately for Governor Richardson, as long as his campaign is setting expectations that they fail to meet, he is going to continue to be the underdog candidate:

But prior to the debate, Richardson and his campaign tried to turn the tide of bad news in advance of the inevitable post-debate spin by letting go of a rumor that Richardson would, could or should out-fundraise fellow Democrat John Edwards for this quarter.

The Washington Post reported that “…New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who is barely registering in most polls, has told other Democrats that he expects to raise more money than Edwards this quarter.”

This was an odd move to make because if he erred, it would set the scene for another public relations failure.

So when it turned out that Edwards (whoopsy) beat Richardson by $2 million, the spin-intended rumor hit the ground with a thud.

That “we-failed-to-meet-expectations” thud.

As if all of these PR gaffes weren’t enough, when the Governor was called to the carpet for use of a gay slur in Spanish on the Don Imus show a year ago, Richardson had this response:

“In the Spanish I grew up speaking, the term means simply ‘gay,’ not positive or negative. It has been brought to my attention that the word also has a hurtful or derogatory connotation, which was never my intent. If I offended anybody, I’m sorry.”

Of course, there is one BIG problem with this response:

Gay News Watch reported that every official definition of the Spanish word has a negative connotation, and means a lot more than “not positive or negative.”

Definitely, not a good week for this “superhero”.