Bill Richardson: Commerce Secretary, Governor, Congressman:
On May 21, 2007, Richardson entered the 2008 presidential race, and withdrew on January 10, 2008.(See Bill Richardson in 2008 Info Center Hub)
Richardson was a Congressman from 1983-97, served as UN Ambassador from 1997-98 and was Secretary of Energy under Bill Clinton from 1998-01.
U.N .Ambassador and International Diplomat:
He has successfully won the release of hostages, soldiers and prisoners in Iraq, Cuba, the Sudan and North Korea. At the UN and beyond, he has defused and deflected difficulties and crises all over the world.
Major Areas of Interest:
Richardson slashed New Mexico's income tax rate from 8.2 percent to 4.9 percent, increased tax deductions for lower and middle-class taxpayers, and created new tax incentives for business. The Cato Institute rates him the highest of any Democrat on its latest fiscal-policy report card.
In Congress, his avid interest in foreign relations resulted in travel on US business to Nicaragua, Guatemala, Cuba, Peru, Iraq, North Korea, India, Nigeria and the Sudan.
- Birth - November 15, 1947 in Pasadena, California.
- Education - B.A. in Political Science from Tufts University in 1970; M.A. in International Relations, Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, 1971.
- Family - Married over 35 years to Barbara. No children. (See Profile of Barbara Richardson, Married to Gov. Richardson.)
- Faith - Roman Catholic
Growing Up and Bill Richardson's Parents:
The Richardson Reputation:
Time magazine called him "beefy, cigar-chomping," a man whose "addiction to winning over people is almost as legendary" as President Clinton's. He's been likened to good friend Clinton in his gregariousness and ability to spin a tale.
Raising Hackles in New Mexico:
"We have an immigration system that's broken. We have 10 million illegal immigrants in America, 25 percent in the last two years. So if you have an earned legalization program that has benchmarks of law-abidingness,that has benchmarks of working hard, and you combine it with tough law enforcement, more border guards, a crackdown on illegal smuggling, better detection of those that overstay their visas, stolen-lost passports--what is needed is a comprehensive immigration reform, not piecemeal, punitive measures....What I would do and what I think makes sense is there has to be a light at the end of the tunnel so these immigrants come out of the shadows. And that means a clear path toward some kind of legal status."
"I announced last week a pilot program that will bring basic change to how mid-school and high school students learn. More than 700 students and 80 teachers will receive laptop computers in the first phase of this initiative. Eventually, I want every 7th grader to have one. Every teacher in every discipline--math, languages, social studies, history--will be trained in how to make use of the computer and the internet directly in their subject areas." -- January 20, 2004, State of the State speech to the New Mexico Legislature
"A lot of people, especially the media, have had some fun at my expense regarding reports of my state police drivers exceeding the speed limit. I am the first to admit that I try to cram as much business as possible into each and every day. As you know, I'm impatient." Richardson added that he is "not above the law" and "sometimes I have gone fast, too fast." -- June 2005 in response to another speeding ticket