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.