Bill (1947) Richardson
- Category : 1947-births
- Type : GP
- Profile : 4/1 - Opportunistic / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (1,20,31)
- Incarnation Cross : JX Insight
American politician, Governor of New Mexico from 2002, Chairman of the Democratic National Convention in Boston in July 2004, and Presidential hopeful for the 2008 election.
Richardson grew up in Mexico City, Mexico, the son of an American father who was a Citibank executive working there and a Mexican mother, who was from a privileged family. As a teenager, he attended a US prep school. A talented baseball pitcher in high school, he was drafted by the Kansas City (now Oakland) Athletics. His father, however, convinced him that college would be a better choice. A year later, with an elbow injury, he was grateful that his father had been so practical. Richardson graduated from Tufts University in 1970 with a major in political science. A year later, he graduated from Tufts' Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy with a master's in international affairs and, on a field trip to the U.S. Senate, was inspired by Hubert Humphrey to enter politics. Moving to Washington, DC, he landed a job as a staff person in the House of Representatives. A year later, he moved on to the staff of the Congressional Affairs Office of the US State Department. In 1976 he enhanced his resumé further by joining the staff of Hubert Humphrey on the foreign relations subcommittee of the US Senate.
He moved to New Mexico in 1978 and became involved in local politics. In 1980, he made an unsuccessful bid for a congressional seat. Two years later he was elected to the US House of Representatives and held onto his seat in the House of Representatives for 14 years. During that time, he landed membership on prestigious House committees and campaigned diligently on behalf of Democratic candidates for national office. His diplomatic efforts brought positive results and favorable reviews, and he became known for his ability to negotiate in difficult diplomatic situations. In 1996, President Bill Clinton made Richardson US ambassador to the United Nations and in 1999 appointed him secretary of the Department of Energy. A year later, Richardson resigned this position. Returning to New Mexico, he taught college classes and worked as a business consultant. On January 12, 2002, he announced his candidacy for the governor's seat. Claiming the world hand-shaking record (13,392 in an eight-hour period), he won the election by a landslide, the largest margin of victory since 1964. He was inaugurated on January 1, 2003 and has become one of the most popular politicians in the state.
Richardson married Barbara Flavin in 1972; the couple has no children. A large, jowly fellow, he is known to be amiable and forthright and enjoys meeting voters one by one. He makes quite an impression on New Mexicans when he travels around the state, shaking as many hands as he can, taking notes on issues raised, and often resorting to affable physical gestures to make his point. He describes his approach as “What you see is what you get.” Although he is a savvy politician, he sometimes trips over his own tongue, blurting out what he thinks instead of giving the politically correct response. Then he defends himself against criticism by saying “Hey, I’m honest!” Via e-mail and his website the Governor of New Mexico announced on January 21, 2007 that he is seeking the Democratic Party nomination for the 2008 US Presidential race. Governor Richardson ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination on January 10, 2008.
Although named to be Secretary of Commerce by President-elect Barack Obama, Richardson withdrew his name on January 5, 2008 because of a federal investigation of his possible involvement in accepting contributions in exchange for government contracts.