I was talking to a co-worker today and he likes the Democratic Governor from New Mexico, Bill Richardson. Richardson has solid executive abilities, along with diplomatic and legislative abilities. Plus, he has a solid A from the NRA on firearms issues. And, he's Hispanic. He understands that immigration is going to be a big part of the debate and he is uniquely situated to address that issue.
The way Richardson sees it, the crowded field of 2008 presidential hopefuls breaks down into those who talk versus those who do, those who divide versus those who heal. The nation's only Latino governor pitches himself as the best of both worlds -- a leader who puts actions before words and who can heal a divided country. He insists that it's his experience -- as a member of Congress, U.N. ambassador, U.S. energy secretary and governor of New Mexico -- that makes him the best choice.
"If you look at some of the major challenges facing the country," he said, "I've already done some of those things."
Among those things, the two-term governor says, are cutting taxes, creating jobs, improving education and expanding health care. Add in a thick foreign policy portfolio that includes serving as an envoy to Sudan and North Korea and orchestrating humanitarian efforts in bleak corners such as Darfur. Richardson also loves the game of politics and he's good at it. He's likable and bright and charismatic. And he'll need all those gifts and more.
Richardson sounds like a candidate who bears watching.