POLITICS

Eagleburger: I Have "Very Little Respect" For Bill Richardson's Intelligence

12/19/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

In the waning days of the campaign, Lawrence Eagleburger memorably put his foot in his mouth by basically mocking Sarah Palin's capacity to serve as Vice President. Now, the former Secretary of State is once again deploying undiplomatic language to describe some potential Secretaries of State for the upcoming Obama administration.

Asked during an appearance on MSNBC to assess Bill Richardson's capacity for the post, Eagleburger attacked the New Mexico Governor's intellectual capacity.

"Again, I don't want to beat everybody to death, but I have very little respect for his intelligence and his knowledge of foreign affairs," he offered.

As for Sen. John Kerry, another potential appointee: "Good. But is he able to stand up to the Vice President? I'm not sure of that."

Eagleburger did offer some praise to Chuck Hagel, the soon-to-be-retired Nebraska Republican: "I think he could be a good Secretary of State. I shouldn't deny that. I think he could be quite good."

But his top choice was Sen. Hillary Clinton, the candidate who seems poised to actually get the job.

"I'm not trying to defend her. I think she would be, in terms of a competent Secretary of State, I think she stands probably head and shoulders above anybody else I can think of," he said. "There are all these peculiar connections that the Clintons have had for years, and I can't deny any of those. I do believe, however, when it comes to the serious issues of foreign affairs, she probably brings more to the job than most of the other possible candidates."

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