Bill Richardson, the avuncular governor of New Mexico, an internationalist with a gold-plated resume, on Sunday announced his intention to seek the Democratic presidential nomination, making history as the first Latino to have a credible chance to lead a national ticket.
Obama needs him more than Clinton does.
And this is just another 'first' in what appears to be a lot of firsts that will be occuring in the 2008 Presidential Race in the US.
First 'African'-American, not an American civil rights leader, running for President. First Woman, literally and figuratively as in First Lady, and now the first Latino.
As Russell Sadler says over at Blue Oregon;
"Obama, JFK and McCall were successful leaders because they were gifted with the ability to put into words what many people were thinking in a way that produces genuine empathy.
Democratic Party presidential candidates have not displayed this quality in decades. Among the present pretenders for the nomination, Sens. Joseph Biden and Christopher Dodd and Rep. Dennis Kucinitch do not display it. John Kerry and Al Gore? Nope. John Edwards displays it, but his base of support is too narrow. That leaves Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Unfortunately, her greatest strength is also her greatest weakness -- experience. The Republicans are in disarray. More than half the party is still in denial about why they lost control of Congress. A Clinton candidacy will be a lightning rod that will unite the Republicans, allowing them to paper over their differences to attack an old foe and get back in the game. That will be more difficult to do with Obama, who really represents a different generation."
Which is why Clinton made her abrupt announcement on the weekend, after having been coy about 2008 since 2004.
Hillary Clinton's abrupt announcement on Saturday that she is running for the presidency is a sign that her campaign is already in trouble. The most obvious answer is: panic. Since Barack Obama made his announcement last week, the Clinton camp must have felt a slippage in support, in terms of money and talent, that led it to announce the formation of her exploratory committee so abruptly.
It's going to be an interesting two years in American Politics.
This contrast was reflected in their announcement speeches. Obama attacked a politics that "has become so bitter and partisan'' and pledged himself to "our common interests and concerns as Americans.'' Clinton spoke proudly of her ability to take on partisan foes. "I have never been afraid to stand up for what I believe in or to face down the Republican machine,'' she said. "I know how Washington Republicans think, how they operate and how to beat them.''