Richard­son makes his can­di­dacy of­fi­cial, touts re­sume

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Don­ald Lam­bro

New Mex­ico Gov. Bill Richard­son, tout­ing his for­eign and do­mes­tic ex­pe­ri­ence, on May 21 of­fi­cially de­clared his can­di­dacy for the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion, promis­ing to end the Iraq war and re­build the U.S. rep­u­ta­tion abroad.

The son of an Amer­i­can fa­ther and Mex­i­can mother who is seek­ing to be­come the first His­panic pres­i­dent in U.S. his­tory, Mr. Richard­son made his an­nounce­ment at a press con­fer­ence in Los An­ge­les in an ef­fort to reach out to Cal­i­for­nia’s large His­panic pop­u­la­tion, which is ex­pected to play a piv­otal role in the state’s Feb. 5 pri­mary.

“This pres­i­den­tial elec­tion is un­like any other we’ve ever seen. From Day One, we have to re­pair the dam­age done here at home and abroad,” said Mr. Richard­son, 59, who was a U.S. am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions in the Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“I am run­ning for pres­i­dent be­cause th­ese times call for a leader with a proven track record and a demon­strated abil­ity to bring peo­ple to­gether to tackle our prob­lems at home and abroad,” he said.

Though not well known na­tion­wide, Mr. Richard­son has the length­i­est re­sume of all of the Demo­cratic con­tenders. The gov­er­nor and for­mer am­bas­sador also has been U.S. en­ergy sec­re­tary, served seven terms in the House and held a ca­reer as a diplo­matic trou­bleshooter.

He has be­gun pro­mot­ing that ex­pe­ri­ence in a self-dep­re­cat­ing TV ad in Iowa, in which a per­son­nel re­cruiter reads his re­sume and then asks, “So what makes you think you can be pres­i­dent?”

In an­other ver­sion of the ad, the job in­ter­viewer says, “You might be a lit­tle overqual­i­fied.”

On May 21, Mr. Richard­son touted his for­eign pol­icy back­ground and his ex­pe­ri­ence in bro­ker­ing agree­ments in trou­ble spots abroad, say­ing, “Com­ing up with a good idea is only half the job. The other half is bring­ing peo­ple to- gether to get it done.”

Mr. Richard­son said he would work to bro­ker a ne­go­ti­ated set­tle­ment in Iraq and bring Amer­i­can troops home. “Re­mov­ing all of our troops and heal­ing Iraq are one and the same. Only when it is clear that the U.S. will leave Iraq can the hard diplo­matic work have a chance for suc­cess,” he said.

Mr. Richard­son also is pro­mot­ing the across-the-board in­come tax rates he en­acted in his first term as gov­er­nor, a po­si­tion sharply at odds with his ri­vals for the nom­i­na­tion, who have called for tax in­creases.

“Well, as Democrats, I just hope that we al­ways don’t think of new taxes to pay for pro­grams,” he told them dur­ing a re­cent de­bate.

“While Bill Richard­son is cer­tainly no Mil­ton Fried­man, he has an op­por­tu­nity to open up the Demo­cratic Party to pro-growth poli­cies. We hope he takes ad­van­tage of this op­por­tu­nity,” said Pat Toomey, pres­i­dent of the Club for Growth.

Mr. Richard­son re­mains in the sin­gle dig­its in the polls na­tion­ally, but a Des Moines Reg­is­ter poll on May 20 showed him with 10 per­cent sup­port in Iowa, home of the na­tion’s first nom­i­nat­ing cau­cuses on Jan. 14. An ear­lier Zogby poll in New Hamp­shire also showed Mr. Richard­son draw­ing 10 per­cent sup­port, putting him within strik­ing range of chal­leng­ing his party’s top­tier can­di­dates in the first four del­e­gate-se­lec­tion con­tests in Jan­uary.

As­so­ci­ated Press

In: New Mex­ico Gov. Bill Richard­son has the length­i­est re­sume of all of the Demo­cratic con­tenders for the pres­i­dency, hav­ing served seven terms in the House and been U.S. en­ergy sec­re­tary.

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