Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Case for Bill Richardson

I'm going to make the argument that Bill Richardson is the best man, of those currently committed to running, for the job of the presidency. I'm not going to argue that he is the most electable. That is a separate discussion, which I will attack in a future post.

Bill Richardson has all the qualities and experience required for a successful presidency. Governor Richardson is running on both his local and national resume. He is really the only candidate that can say that.

Although, I'm very familiar with Governor Richardson's record, I'd like to thank Ken Camp's Case for Richardson, Texas for Richardson, and America for Richardson for their well researched posts about the Governor's record and performance.

A famous political journalist once said, "Check the record. Check the record. Check the record." when evaluating a candidate for office.

That's exactly what we are going to do. When Governor Richardson ran for governor in 2002, he promised to work tirelessly on behalf of New Mexicans and he has done exactly that.

During the Governor's first two legislative sessions, 78 out of 95 proposals outlined during his State of the State addresses have become reality - for an 82% success rate. Overall, more than 90% of the initiatives that Governor Richardson promised during the 2002 campaign have become reality - everything from cutting income taxes and eliminating the tax on food to paying teachers better and increasing penalties for drunken drivers.

As a result, New Mexico moving forward with a brighter future than ever before. New Mexico is no longer at the bottom of all the state-by-state comparison lists. Under Governor Richardson's leadership, 27,400 jobs have been created since he took office in January 2003.

Also, as a governor, has had to balance the New Mexico budget and did so by lowering taxes.

During his first year in office, Governor Richardson worked with educators, business leaders, labor activists, rural towns, urban communities, Republicans and Democrats to make major changes in New Mexico's public schools. The governor helped to convince voters to invest money in classrooms, not administration, while holding teachers and students accountable. The changes have resulted in 8 percent pay raises for teachers, and a new professional salary system that is the envy of the nation. This approach will have long-term benefits in producing a first class workforce. Investments in science and technology have revolutionized the economy of New Mexico and the state is now poised to be the intergalactic hub of 21st century commercial space travel.

Prior to serving as governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson served as a Congressman. He served as a special envoy on many sensitive international missions. He successfully won the release of hostages, American servicemen, and prisoners in North Korea, Iraq and Cuba. While governor, he has secured the release of an Albuquerque resident who was kept hostage in Sudan and negotiated with the North Koreans.

In 1997, Clinton appointed him as U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations. He served there until 1998, when he was appointed as U.S. Secretary of Energy. He served there for the remainder of the Clinton administration.Richardson clearly understands the energy crisis in the United States and how our dependence on foreign oil is a threat to our national security in ways no other candidate does.

Energy security and independence is crucial to wean us off foreign oil. Alternative energy strategies will further help stem global warming and climate change and create jobs for the US economy.

Under the first 6 years of President Bush, U.S. Diplomacy has been virtually non-existant. We won’t negotiate with anyone who is “not with us.” As the former Ambassador to the U.N. and having been called into service numerous times to negotiate in Iraq and North Korea, Bill Richardson has the diplomatic skills to restore US foreign policy and re-enter the international community as a partner and not a bully. This will be essential in tackling the actual international crises’ now profliferating under the current administration (Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Isreal-Palestine, Afghanastan, India-Pakistan, North Korea, African continent- Darfur especially).

If you combine all these point with one of my previous ones, you'll see that when Toby Keith mentioned he is buddies with Bill Richardson, that is a good sign. And I agree with Jason Zengerle who thinks "How Do You Like Me Now" would make a pretty good theme song for Richardson's presidential campaign.

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