Sunday, February 18, 2007

Richardson on Late Edition

Bill Richardson will today appear on CNN's late edition with Wolf Blitzer.

"Live from Nevada. Could winning in the West be the key to the White House in 2008? We’ll ask Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democratic candidate for president. "

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Richardson to New Hampshire

Bill Richardson will be heading to New Hampshire this Friday for a two day visit to the Granite State.

On Friday Afternoon, Richardson will do a meet and greet in Main Street, Concord, followed by a reception at State Senator Kathy Sgambati's home. Later in the evening Richardson will attend a reception at Grafton County Commissioner, Martha Richards' home.

On Saturday, Richardson will be having breakfast with young Democrats in Manchester and later will be speaking to Concord Democrats. In the afternoon Richardson will head to Portsmouth for a meet and greet, and then will be off to Hampton for a house party.

Next week, Bill Richardson will be off to Nevada again for the Democrats candidates forum and will also visit first primary state, Iowa.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Richardson's Support in South Carolina

Check out the following from The State newspaper in South Carolina discussing Bill Richardson's tilt for the Democratic nomination. It's close enough to an endorsement in the key southern state.

Clinton, Obama and Dodd are heading to South Carolina in the next week, and John Edwards has already been there twice.

By MIKE FITTS - Associate Editor
EARLY RANKINGS of the Democratic presidential field seem always to treat New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson the same way: They nod to his obvious credentials and remarkable resume — even declare him the best-prepared candidate to be president — then assign him a seat firmly among the also-rans.

Why the discrepancy? It tends to boil down to money and hype, and he is not expected to turn up enough of either.

That’s not a logical situation; of course, politics often is far from logical. But this early in the South Carolina primary process, there’s time to take a look at this wide-open field of presidential contenders and really consider the options.

For Gov. Richardson, the consideration has to start with his resume:

A governor. Gov. Richardson is quick to point out that he is the only sitting governor in the race; he is an executive who has had to balance budgets and set priorities. There’s a good case to be made that a governorship is the most analogous post to being president. It’s also where voters have tended to turn in recent elections for the next president, rather than Congress.

A diplomat. He served the Clinton administration as U.N. ambassador, and has been a special diplomatic envoy to such states as North Korea and Sudan — he was in Sudan earlier this year, visiting the battleground Darfur region and lobbying Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to bring peace to the region.

Energy secretary. His term in this Cabinet post provides a background that no other contender can match; in the 2008 race, energy policy will be debated more in American politics than it has since the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s.

Congressman. He spent 14 years on Capitol Hill, so he knows the ropes there, too.
On issue after issue, he made his experience the point during a recent interview: “I’ve done this.”

Crawford Cook, a longtime friend of Gov. Richardson who is working on his behalf in South Carolina, sums up Richardson’s appeal: “By any measure, Bill Richardson is the best-qualified, by experience and background, in the race.”

Then why does he slide into the second tier of candidates over hype and money?

Hype first: He is a known commodity, based on all this experience, and reporters, being human, find known commodities less interesting to write about. His Hispanic background, on his mother’s side, would make him a groundbreaking presidential nominee, but that is trumped in the media by Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

And money: It’s tougher to raise big bucks in New Mexico than it is if you are from New York or Chicago. Mr. Richardson has the extra money handicap of having just finished a re-election campaign for governor, Mr. Cook says.

That’s all true, but not as important as political convention makes it.

Look at two issues that are sure to be the biggest that the next president will face: America’s role in the world and our energy problems.

Gov. Richardson says the regional factions in Iraq need to be brought to the table to settle their differences, and that the threat of chaos from a U.S. pullout should be used to push the parties toward buying into a plan to run the country. He also advocates the kind of regional conference that the Iraq Study Group endorsed, and says the White House is wrong to rule it out. He points to successful efforts before the 1991 Gulf War to get Syrian endorsement. And that kind of outreach needs to include Syria and Iran this time. “Instead of talking, we’re threatening them. I think that’s short-sighted,” he says.

He also has a record to tout on energy. He says that New Mexico is the only state controlling its output of greenhouse gases well enough to meet the standards of the Kyoto climate change treaty. He proposes a national cap-and-trade program to build economic incentives into reducing emissions — that’s a popular policy among candidates, but, again, Gov. Richardson can say he’s done more than talk: “I’ve done this.”

New Mexico requires that 10 percent of energy come from renewable resources, and he says it will move toward 20 percent.

Will all his experience mean anything in a crowded political field? It should. Look at the likely situation that will greet the next president in 2009: Wouldn’t your first criterion in hiring for that job be to hire someone with the experience to be ready to cope from Day One?

Democrats trying to wade through this crowded field of primary candidates should not overlook Gov. Richardson. The pundits don’t have him in the “first tier” of candidates.

But to those voting in the Democratic primary who think foreign policy is the biggest issue in this race, the “first tier” should be Gov. Richardson and Sen. Joe Biden.

And for Democrats who think energy and the environment are the biggest issue for 2008, Gov. Richardson’s background puts him in a tier by himself.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Richardson Says Close Guantanamo

Speaking today at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, Bill Richardson called for the Guantanamo detention facility to be closed. His speech was entitled "New Realism".

Richardson said that "Prisoner abuse, torture, secret prisons, renditions and evasion of the Geneva conventions must have no place in our policy." He said that if America wants Muslims to open up to it, we must begin by closing Guantanamo.

Calling for more diplomacy across the world, Richardson said that America should engage more with Iran, North Korea and Syria. And Richardson also said that America should lead in trying to reduce nuclear weapons around the world, including at home.

Richardson also supports the signing of the Kyoto Protocol, to curb greenhouse emissions, which America leads in.

This was Richardson's first major foreign policy speech since announcing his candidacy 2 weeks ago.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Richardson Tribune Interview

Bill Richardson gave an extensive interview to the Albuquerque Tribune recently, which they have published in full on their website this morning. Although a New Mexico newspaper, this is an extensive profile piece that deals mainly with Richardson's quest for the Democratic nomination.

"Tribune: Tell us what you consider the three most important issues facing the nation.

Bill Richardson: First, energy security and national security. The issue of energy independence, how can we wean ourselves from the 65 (percent) imported oil statistic to become a country that is not so dependent on fossil fuels and shifts to renewable technologies.

Number two, how can we regain our standing in the world as a country. As part of that, how do we get out of Iraq in an efficient and honorable way.

Third, the state of our education system. Our schools need to become more competitive. We need to find ways to pay our teachers better, to restore America's ability to be able to send every kid to college or community college or vocational school."

More here.

Or head here to watch the video of the interview.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Bill Richardson's Record

A new article from Associated Press entitled "Richardson Touts Unique Qualifications".

It's a good background piece on Bill Richardson's credentials on foreign policy.

Read it here at the ABC News site.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Bill Richardson at DNC Winter Meeting

"Elect a Democratic President"

After an introduction written by the wife of Paul Salopek, an American Richardson rescued from Sudan, Bill Richardson arrived on stage to address Democratic National Committee's Winter Meeting. Amidst the loud cheers from his supporters and the audience, Richardson proceeded to give quite a speech.

Richardson led with the statement "Our country would be better off with anyone serving in the White House...." much applause " my Vice President ."

Like Barack Obama did the day before, Richardson called on Democratic candidates for the nomination not to tear each other down.

Richardson called on all candidates to run only positive campaigns throughout the nomination process. He went so far as to call on the DNC to pass a resolution, demanding that candidates run clean campaigns.

Littered throughout Richardson's speech, were references to his record as a servant to America. He said that America needs a Democratic nominee that has brokered international agreements, fought global warming, turned an economy around and balanced budgets.

For a record, it doesn't get much better than Richardson's. Former member of Congress, Secretary of Energy, Representative to the U.N and current Governor. That gave him quite a bit to talk about, and talk about it he did. When you've got something good to say, it's better to say it - particularly to as important a gathering as the DNC.

On Iraq, Richardson said that it was a war that had gone horribly wrong. He said that Iraq is not the disease, the disease is arrogance.

Richardson said that the next President must be able to repair the damage in Iraq and the region. He said that the war in Iraq is not worth the loss of one more American life - what we said we would do, has been done and it's time for the troops to come home with honor. Joining with some of the other candidates not in Congress, Richardson called on them to pass another resolution to end the war, and bring the troops home by the end of this calender year.

He finished off by asking Democrats to "stay loose", that there is another year to go, and he would be doing his best to visit all of the states.

It was a good speech, and for those that don't know him, he gives a good background of his achievements, so it's worth watching. View it here.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Richardson In Nevada

Bill Richardson made a trip to Nevada Saturday, on his first campaign stop for the Democratic nomination.

Richardson met with Democrats in Reno and Milden, where he said that although he is an outsider, he will outwork the other candidates. He said that he believes he is the candidate with the most foreign policy experience, as former US representative to the United Nations.

Nevada is crucial as it comes just after the Iowa primary next January.

This wont be Richardson's last visit to Nevada - he has pledged to be back again and will campaign in all 17 counties. He will be returning on February 21 for a debate in Carson City and a health care forum on March 24 in Las Vegas.

Richardson spoke at a Democrat "Turn Nevada Blue" dinner on Saturday night, with other potential candidate Wes Clark.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bill Richardson on Larry King

Bill Richardson appeared on Larry King live last night to discuss his campaign for the Democratic nomination.

Watch the video here.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bill Richardson Is In

Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, today announced that he will be setting up an exploratory committee to consider a run for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

Richardson's move was widely speculated on in recent days. But it has come in a big media week, only one day after the announcement by Clinton, and four after Obama.

Richardson said that he can bring America together and "we have to repair the damage that’s been done to our country over the last six years."

On Iraq, Richardson also urged diplomacy, saying that the regional neighbours should be engaged more and there needs to be an effort to "...set up a reconstruction effort to help Iraq achieve civil administration and build up its resources."

But he was also tough on the current policy, saying that "The next President of the United States must get our troops out of Iraq without delay."

Having a solid record on foreign policy will be one of Richardson's strengths, along with his steady hand as Governor.

Richardson should also do reasonably well on the fundraising front. Although not as good as the Clinton network, Richardson has built an impressive range of donors over the last few years.

Bill Richardson is also a former Member of Congress, Secretary of Energy in the Clinton Administration, and U.S Ambassador to the United Nations.

Watch the Richardson announcement here.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Announcement by Richardson Soon

Speculation is mounting that Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico will launch an exploratory committee to consider a run for President, perhaps as early as this weekend.

Having just returned from Sudan, where he was negotiating a peace settlement, Richardson will be keen to emphasise his credentials on foreign policy.

Given the announcements of high profile canidates Obama and Clinton this week, Richardson won't want to be left behind, particularly on the fundraising front. And while the media is focussing on the race, why not announce in the same week?

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Withdraw US from Iraq this year - Richardson

Appearing in crucial early primary state South Carolina over the weekend, Bill Richardson said that the US should pull its troops out of Iraq by the end of the year. Richardson has said that the latest decision to send more troops to Iraq was not popular in America, or around the world.

As a key negotiator and former UN representative, Richardson has urged greater diplomacy in Iraq, as well as with other nations like Iran and North Korea.

In Presidential news, after listening to his announcement this morning, Richardson has apparently said that Obama is an exciting candidate.

Richardson will be looking at his options for a Presidential run over the next two weeks. On one hand it might pay to wait until the dust settles around the Obama announcement.

That is until it all starts over with the Hillary announcement, which must be coming very shortly. She certainly wont be liking the fact that Obama is taking all her media space. Particularly given she is out of the country touring the middle east and Afghanistan.

So if he is running, Richardson might just as well announce this weekend, before Clinton does. After that, he may struggle to get clear air space.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Is Richardson running for President?

Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, is yet to declare if he will be running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

As a former Member of Congress for 14 years, US Ambassador to the United Nations and US Secretary for Energy, Richardson has no shortage of experience in public service.

Richardson has said that he would be making a decision on a run in January, so an announcement is considered to be imminent.

Since late 2004, Richardson has visited crucial states Iowa twice, and New Hampshire 5 times.

In recent days, Richardson has been in Darfur, Sudan attempting to negotiate greater numbers United Nations troops for the war torn country and a peace settlement between warring factions. Richardson has issued a statement to say the trip was successful. His efforts will no doubt highlight Richardson's foreign policy credentials, which are already substantial.

But does Richardson have the capacity to secure the Democratic nomination?

He has had a good record in the past in fundraising, not only for himself, but for fellow Democrats. And as Chair of the 2004 Democratic National Convention and Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, he is well known outside of New Mexico. His result of nearly 69% of the vote when he was re-elected last November should not be overlooked either.

The big question is whether Richardson can compete with the higher profile potential candidates in Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and declared candidate John Edwards.