Bill Richardson (Dem Gov NM)
The son of Mexican-American parents, Bill Richardson has a long and distinguished career in politics. After college, Richardson worked on congressional relations for the State Department. He was later a staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In 1978, he moved to Santa Fe and ran for Congress in 1980, losing narrowly to longtime 1st District congressman and future United States Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan (R). Two years later, Richardson was elected to New Mexico's newly created third district, taking in most of the northern part of the state. Richardson spent a more than 14 years in Congress. In 1997, Richardson was appointed as Ambassador to the UN, and in the following year, he became the Secretary of Energy. Gaining the governorship of New Mexico in 2002, Richardson has also been a key negotiator in talks with North Korea and Sudan.
Bill Richardson opposes the war in Iraq, and believes that all troops should be pulled out, and that U.S focus should be redirected towards Al Qaeda and Afghanistan.
From various statements made by the Governor, it can be deduced that he favours using trade as a means of influencing China with regard to its human rights record, and sees a bigger role for china to play within multi-lateral institutions around the world.
He believes that this is the theatre of war which deservers the U.S focus, not Iraq. Therefore he has called for troops withdrawn from Iraq to be re-deployed in Afghanistan.
Relative to other presidential candidates the governor appears to be more neutral and he has identified Iran’s support for extremist groups as part of the problem. And that more should be done to reach out to Palestinian moderates, as well as moderates all over the entire Middle East.
A pro-UN candidate, Governor Richardson was the ambassador to the UN (1997-1998), and believes that multi-lateral institutions have an important part to play, and sees room for more of an increased peacekeeping budget which would receive its funding from the US.
Believes that a 'Nuclear 9/11' can only be prevented through multi-lateral action which will entail a ‘global clean-out’.
Claims that the NATO alliance needs to be rebuilt, although this is in regard to relations not structure.