Sunday, January 21, 2007

Richardson Joins Presidential Race

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has rounded out a busy political week in the Democratic party by announcing today that he is starting a presidential campaign exploratory committee, with the intention of seeking the Democratic nomination for President in 2008.

Citing his "unparalleled experience and proven record of success as a Congressman, UN Ambassador, Energy Secretary, and Governor," Richardson follows Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY) who have also announced their presidential campaigns in the last week.

With these three, Senators Joe Biden (D-DE) and Chris Dodd (D-CT), former Senator John Edwards, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack and Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), there are now eight announced contenders for the 2008 Democratic nomination.

"I am taking this step because we have to repair the damage that's been done to our country over the last six years," said Richardson. "Our reputation in the world is diminished, our economy has languished, and civility and common decency in government has perished."

Richardson also makes clear that he believes the next president must be able to get the United States out of Iraq and do what's in the best interest of our national security and not what may salvage one president's legacy.

"Iraq is in a state of civil war, and only they can stop it. Bush's policies have brought us to the point where we now have to choose between bad options and worse ones," said Richardson, in a recent speech. "We need to choose the path that will do the least damage to American national security -- not the one that does the least damage to the President who created this catastrophe."

More from his web site's policy section:
Our presence is not preventing a bloodbath. That bloodbath is already happening. More than three thousand civilian men, women and children are dying each month.

Eighty percent of Iraqis have said they want us to leave. Sixty percent say they think it justifiable to kill Americans. Sunnis and Shiites alike see us as occupiers, and believe our presence there is making things worse.

There is no military solution to Iraq's political crisis. We need to end this fiasco now, and start down the hard path back to a safer future and a more realistic foreign policy.
Unless there's a huge surprise brewing somewhere, we now await the decisions of Wesley Clark, John Kerry and Al Gore -- then let's get this party started.