Richardson, Goodbye Presidency

Bill Richardson has dropped his bid for President. While we certainly are not shy about criticizing Richardson’s policies here in New Mexico, the reasons for Richardson’s failure to gain traction are only partially his fault. A big part of Richardson’s difficulties stems from the process itself.
First and foremost, Richardson did not run a great campaign. He made too many gaffes and tried to have it both ways on policy issues that required an obvious stance. This recent discussion between Richardson and Barack Obama on the issue of carbon caps and whether or not it would increase prices for consumers is a perfect example.
As for the reasons that were not necessarily his fault, except for the Iraq War, Richardson was a “centrist” relative to his fellow Democrats. On taxes, guns, and trade, Richardson was to the right of his fellow Democrats.
Unfortunately for Richardson, Democratic primaries tend to reward those on the left and penalize centrists. Only in the general election do centrists have the advantage. Even though we at the Rio Grande Foundation weren’t overly enthusiastic about Richardson as a President, his run did bring great attention to New Mexico. From that perspective, we are sad to see him drop out.