15 nov. 2008

Pointer's choice te be Obama's Secretary of State: Bill Richardson


First of all Bill Richardson is the most successful governor and the only Hispanic in the USA apart of Puerto Rico. Wikipedia says:
Richardson was elected governor of New Mexico in November 2002, having defeated the Republican candidate, John Sanchez, 56–39%. During the campaign, he set a Guinness World Record for most handshakes in eight hours by a politician, breaking Theodore Roosevelt's record. He succeeded a two-term Republican governor, Gary E. Johnson. He took office in January 2003 as the only Hispanic Governor in the United States, other than then-Governor Sila María Calderón of Puerto Rico. In his first year, Richardson proposed "tax cuts to promote growth and investment" and passed a broad personal income tax cut and won a statewide special election to transfer money from the state's Permanent Fund to meet current expenses and projects. In early 2005, Richardson made New Mexico the first state in the nation to provide $400,000 in life insurance coverage for New Mexico National Guardsmen who serve on active duty. Thirty-five states have since followed suit.
Working with the legislature, he formed Governor Richardson's Investment Partnership (GRIP) in 2003. The partnership has been used to fund large-scale public infrastructure projects throughout New Mexico, including, through the use of highway funds, a brand new commuter rail line (the Rail Runner) that runs between Belen, Albuquerque, and Bernalillo. He supported LGBT rights in his career as governor; he added sexual orientation and gender identity to New Mexico's list of civil rights categories. During the summer of 2003, he met with a delegation from North Korea at their request to discuss concerns over that country's use of nuclear energy. At the request of the White House, he also flew to North Korea in 2005, and met with another North Korean delegation in 2006. On December 7, 2006, Richardson was named as the "Special Envoy for Hemispheric Affairs" for the Secretary General of the Organization of American States with the mandate to "promote dialogue on issues of importance to the region, such as immigration and free trade."
He was named Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association and announced a desire to increase the role of Democratic governors in deciding the future of their party.
In 2003, Richardson backed and signed legislation creating a permit system for New Mexicans to carry concealed handguns. He applied for and received a concealed weapons permit, though by his own admission he seldom carries a gun.
As discussed frequently on CNN, Richardson supported the New Mexico policy of giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.[citation needed]
In 2006, Forbes credited Richardson's reforms in naming Albuquerque, New Mexico the best city in the U.S. for business and careers. The Cato Institute, meanwhile, has consistently rated Richardson as one of the most fiscally responsible Democratic governors in the nation.
In December 2005, Richardson announced the intention of New Mexico to partner with billionaire Richard Branson to bring space tourism to the proposed Spaceport America located near Las Cruces, New Mexico.
In March 2006, Richardson vetoed legislation that would ban the use of eminent domain to transfer property to private developers, as allowed by the Supreme Court's 2005 decision in Kelo v. City of New London. He promised to work with the legislature to draft new legislation addressing the issue in the 2007 legislative session.
On September 7, 2006, Richardson flew to Sudan to meet Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and successfully negotiated the release of imprisoned journalist Paul Salopek. Salopek had been charged by the Sudanese with espionage on August 26, 2006, while on a National Geographic assignment.
Richardson won his second term as Governor of New Mexico on November 7, 2006, 68–32 percent against former New Mexico Republican Party Chairman John Dendahl. Richardson received the highest percentage of votes in any gubernatorial election in the state's history.
In December 2006, Richardson announced that he would support a ban on cockfighting in New Mexico. On March 12, 2007, Richardson signed into law a bill that would ban cockfighting in New Mexico. Puerto Rico is now the only part of the United States where cockfighting is legal.
In January 2007, at the request of the Save Darfur Coalition, he brokered a 60-day cease fire between al-Bashir and leaders of several rebel factions in Darfur, the western Sudanese region. The cease-fire never became effective, however, with allegations of breaches on all sides.
During New Mexico's most recent legislative session, Richardson signed a bill into law that made New Mexico the 12th state to legalize marijuana for medical reasons. When asked if this would hurt him in a Presidential election, he stated that it did not matter, as it was "the right thing to do."
Richardson's current term in office ends in 2011 and he is term-limited from a third term as governor.
Before his election as governor of New Mexico, Richardson served in the administration of Bill Clinton, first as US ambassador to the United Nations, later as Secretary of Energy. He became the first Energy Secretary with a plan to dispose of nuclear waste. He created the Director for Native American Affairs position in the Department in 1998, and in January 2000 oversaw the largest return of federal lands, 84,000 acres (340 km²), to an Indian Tribe (the Northern Ute Tribe of Utah) in more than 100 years. Richardson also directed the overhaul of the Department's consultation policy with Native American tribes and established the Tribal Energy Program.
Richardson was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the 2008 presidential election but dropped out on January 10, 2008 after lackluster showings in the first primary and caucus contests. Despite his long history with the Clinton family, Richardson endorsed Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination on March 21, 2008. Commentator and Clinton ally James Carville famously compared Richardson to Judas Iscariot for the move. Richardson responded in a Washington Post article, feeling "compelled to defend [himself] against character assassination and baseless allegations."
Richardson was a rumored Vice Presidential candidate for Senator and Democratic presumptive nominee Barack Obama and was fully vetted by the Obama campaign, before Obama chose Joe Biden on August 23, 2008.
In the wake of Obama's victory in the 2008 presidential election, Richardson has been mentioned as a possible Cabinet appointment in the upcoming Obama Administration, particularly as Secretary of State.
The day after Obama's election, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "There's no one more qualified to be part of the president's cabinet than Bill Richardson and I would hope that he's under consideration." Richardson has yet to publicly comment on the speculation. On November seventh, Obama met with Richardson to discuss a Cabinet position. He is in line with Senator and Former 2008 Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton, says the Washington Post.
If Richardson were to accept a position as Secretary of State in the Obama Administration, he would be the first Mexican-American and Hispanic individual to hold the position. Also, if he accepts before his current term expires, he would be succeeded as New Mexico Governor by Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish.

.