Friday, July 13, 2007

Best For America; President Bill Richardson

The United States is in a dire position in the world right now. The presidency of George W. Bush has left us damaged on a global scale. We're stuck in a war in Iraq with no good options on how to get out, Al-Qaeda is stronger than ever, our popularity in the world has plummeted, our allies have almost all but deserted us, energy prices are soaring, global warming is becoming a major issue, and access to healthcare is a severe problem in our nation, left almost ignored by our government. We need proven leadership from somebody with the experience and resume to back it up.

If you ask me there are two general issues I feel the next President will have to address. Two issues I feel President Bush has most failed on. Those issues are Foreign Policy and Energy Policy.

When examining the excellent field of candidates the Democratic Party has, I find that New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has an impressive resume when it comes to both and has proven in his five years as Governor of the state of New Mexico and term as head of the Energy Department that he is a true leader.

Richardson began his career at the State Department and later worked on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In 1982, he was elected to the House of Representatives for New Mexico's newly created third district centered in Santa Fe. In his 14 years in Congress, he focused heavily on Foreign Affairs. He visited numerous countries, and many who are not quite friendly to us, including Cuba, North Korea and the Sudan.

In 1997, Richardson became Ambassador to the UN, becoming perhaps the second most widely seen diplomat in the American cabinet (after Secretary Albright). In 1998 he became Secretary of Energy, a job he held until 2001.

In 2002, he was elected Governor of New Mexico by a 59%-39% margin in a swing state. Richardson immediately got to work for New Mexico. He successfully implemented an excellent life insurance package of his state's National Guardsmen and passed a successful income tax cut. Widely popular in his home state, he was reelected in 2006 in a landslide, carrying all but one county; sparsely populated Carton County, which he lost by a mere six votes.

Richardson's strongest point to me is where Bush has been exceptionally weak...diplomacy. He held talks with North Korean officials in 2003 and negotiated with Sudan over Darfur issues. He negotiated the release of two American hostages in Iraq in 1995.

A President Richardson would provide strong diplomatic leadership in foreign affairs...good diplomacy is something that is missing almost entirely in our foreign policy. He will bring an experienced voice to energy policy.

Also, electorally, Richardson would provide strong geographic pickups in the Electoral College. Richardson's home turf is the Inner-Mountain West, a region the Democrats appear to be gaining in, and need to gain in. In 2006, Democrats picked up three house seats, a Senate seat and a governorship here. Richardson would win his home state of New Mexico, which Kerry narrowly lost, and would make a huge dent in the Republican dominance of Texas...The Texas 23rd district, where Democrat Ciro Rodriguez defeated Henry Bonilla this year borders New Mexico. Richardson could pull Colorado and Nevada safely into the Democratic column. He would throw Arizona in play and would play well with Florida Hispanics, most of whom are Republicans.

Personally, I like all of the Democrats who have announced their candidacy so far, but I for one, at this moment, will support Governor Bill Richardson for President.

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