Richardson as Judas

I think James Carville's Washington Post column declaring Bill Richardson a "Judas" because apparently when Rep. Richardson accepted a post in Bill Clinton's administration he was making an ironclad commitment to support his wife's future presidential campaign misses the point pretty badly. Among other things, he seems to completely miss the lack of perspective involved in implicitly analogizing Hillary to Jesus.

But more to the point, it really is a strange conception of the underlying dynamics. I imagine that many of the people Bill Clinton appointed to executive offices believed, as Richardson no doubt believed, that they were getting something more than patronage job offers. They believed they'd been selected for reasons that had at least something to do with their merits and that accepting didn't imply a commitment beyond service to their country and the administration for the duration of their appointment. Are we supposed to take it for granted that anyone who's not prepared to back a Michelle Obama 2024 presidential campaign ought to decline a position in Barack Obama's cabinet?