Meeting the Candidates

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Richardson.  Richardson is the current Governor of New Mexico and he is also running for President. 

The group was small so he was candid and incredibly engaging.  He is the first of the candidates, this time around, that I have met and listened to.  I liked him.  What I liked is that he is smart and has real experience.  No smoke and mirrors. 

He talks about the standard topics such as  Iraq, National Security, Environment, Education, Health care and Jobs and Immigration.  He supports a woman’s right to choose.  He is a Governor that has done a lot of great things for the state of New Mexico from the Environment, to insuring every kid under 5, to changes in Education like full day Kindergarten.  You can read what he has done.  He is in his second term and was voted in by over 69% of the voters.  Pretty impressive.  That means he appealed to Democrats and Republicans alike. 

What I really liked is how he talks about dealing with a flat world.  How important foreign policy is.  Having relationships with other parts of the world whether you like them or not.  There is always a point where you can connect and agree on something.  He has negotiated with North Korean, Militants in Africa, Saddam Hussein, Syria etc. when he was the Ambassador to the United Nations during the Clinton Administration where he also held the position of Secretary of Energy.  He understands what it means to reach out to the other side and work together. 

While he was talking and and after he was talking, I was thinking about what was it that I liked.  Sometimes in companies, the CEO gets lost in the plan, the company takes a downturn.  What do you do?  You bring in someone with gray hair, who gets it and is able to build consensus and goodwill within the company while at the same time executing on a better strategy to turn the place around.  I have met a few people like that.  They have a great sense of self and their presence makes everyone feel good.  They might be tough but they get stuff done.  That is exactly how I felt about Richardson.  He gets it, he knows exactly what it takes.  After all, he has done it in New Mexico and has played a major role in past Presidential Administrations.  He isn’t a Senator, he is a Governor which I have always preferred in a President.

Can he win?  Who knows.  We have a very long 9 months ahead of us.  It is still a crap shoot.  Lots happens over time.  It is easier to creep up slowly and take everyone by surprise than being number one all along. 

Glad I met him.  I am interested in meeting the other candidates and hopefully will.  Richardson, I like him and I got the feeling, what you see if what you get.  That would be a breath of fresh air.