Saturday, November 11, 2006

2008 Candidate Profiles in Congressional Quarterly

Craig Crawford of CQ Weekly has posted profiles of all of the previously named potential candidates for the Presidency in 2008. Overall, he's pretty positive about Governor Richardson:

Bill Richardson — Governor, New Mexico

Rationale: For starters, ethnicity and geography argue in favor of Richardson, a Latino governor in a battleground state that backed Al Gore in 2000 but George W. Bush in 2004. Add to that his varied Washington experience — 14 years in the House plus four years in the Clinton administration, first as U.N. ambassador and then as Energy secretary — and on paper you have the ingredients for national office. Richardson is a larger-than-life character who is charming on the stump. On policy matters, he is a pragmatist who remains quite popular in his politically fluid state, recently winning kudos for making good on a 2003 campaign promise to save taxpayers $90 million in state budget costs. Governors do well in presidential contests, which is enough of a reason to consider Richardson a player.

Resources: Richardson raised more than $8 million for his bid for a second term as governor this year, a sizable sum in New Mexico politics. And his shoo-in standing in that race has allowed him to spread his money around to other Democrats in the state, always good for earning chits to solidify his home-state base in a presidential campaign. Also, the bulk of his campaign funds come from business interests instead of big labor, a good talking point for any Democrat in a general-election bid.

Hobby Horse: Richardson earned foreign- policy credentials as the ambassador to the United Nations, troubleshooting hot spots from Iraq to North Korea, and he also can emphasize his popular management of New Mexico and tout what is expected to be a lopsided re-election victory.

Hobble Horse: Richardson’s closet is not entirely clean. At a minimum, a presidential bid will again bring to light his brush with the Monica Lewinsky scandal, in which he reportedly offered her a job, and revelations that for years he erroneously claimed to have been drafted as a pitcher by the Kansas City A’s.

Now that re-election is out of the way, let's hope the focus soon shifts to the money that Governor Richardson needs to raise in 2007 and to lay the groundwork for a presidential campaign.


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