1.20.2007

Latino Bill Richardson Forms Presidential Committee

The Democratic candidate with perhaps the most impressive resume is Bill Richardson–and tomorrow he joins Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination.

Richardson becomes the first Latino to pursue the nomination for the U.S. presidency. His entry makes the 2008 Democratic field even more historic.

Currently serving a 2nd term as Governor of New Mexico, a key in the critical Mountain West region, Richardson is well positioned to flip the Mountain West into the Democratic column. He won re-election in November with 66% of the vote, and he was elected by his fellow governors as Chair of the National Governors Association. Prior to becoming governor, Richardson served as Ambassador to the United Nations. He served as Secretary of Energy in President Clinton’s administration. Before that he served 7 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Richardson is author of Between Two Worlds: The Making of an American Life, a book about how his multicultural heritage shaped his life and his career as a political leader.

After graduating from Tufts University in 1971 with a master's degree in international affairs, Richardson worked first as a congressional aide and then for the State Department. He was a staffer for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee prior to launching his political career.

Richardson was born in Pasadena, California. His father was an international banker from Boston; his mother was Mexican. He spent his early childhood in Mexico City, where his father worked for CitiBank. Richardson attended a boarding school in Concord, Massachusetts, where he was pitcher on the baseball team.

With the exception of a security breach at the Los Alamos Laboratories under his watch as Secretary of Energy and his involvement in relocating Monica Lewinski to New York City as a favor to his boss Bill Clinton, Richardson’s record is clean. He’s a political moderate with progressive social views combined with pro-growth fiscal stance. He’s an expert negotiator skilled in working with people from across the political spectrum.

While he’s currently in the single digits in the polls, Richardson can surprise. He’s likable, knowledgeable and experienced, and he'll play well in all of the Latino heavy states, including, California, Florida, Texas, Arizona, etc.). Richardson can either win it outright, especially if the better known candidates stumble; or he’ll claim the VP spot. Either way, Richardson is someone Americans are going to hear a lot about.