Bill vows to fight on

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By Ralph Damiani

After his terrible showing in Iowa, Bill Richardson says he will campaign on.

Honestly, we have mixed views on this.Richardson’s camp said that despite his fourth-place finish, the New Mexico Democratic governor said he’d keep campaigning, as he is the only candidate who will get the troops out of Iraq next year.That seems like a thin thread to hold on to, but that is his plan. And as hopeless as that may be, he is right in not quitting after this one event.It seems strange to us that a handful of Iowa residents have so much power as to determine the course of the entire nation – almost a year before the election.Richardson, who got just 2 percent of the vote in Iowa, ran ads in the final days of the Iowa campaign criticizing the top three finishers, Barack Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton, for refusing to commit to a quicker withdrawal of troops. He was the only Democratic candidate to criticize rivals by name in his ads.That was certainly not a message that found much traction in Iowa and we doubt that it will have a broad appeal.But he should probably press on if he believes that. We don’t agree with Sens. Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Joe Biden of Delaware, who have dropped out of the Democratic contest as a result of the vote.A very small number of people in a small state should not have this much power. Some 95 percent of the population should not be denied a voice.But that is way it is. Why? Because money fuels the beast.If you can’t show early, your funds dry up. And you are gone. That is wrong.Even Richardson acknowledged this when he said on the night of the caucuses that he'd been held back by a lack of funds.This is a process that does not work and ends up giving us candidates chosen by a minority of the population.Clearly, our process for selecting a national leader is broken and needs to be fixed.But don’t hold your breath. There is too much money at play not to keep things as they are.