Congressman, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Secretary of Energy and in his second term as Governor of New Mexico after a landslide re-election victory in November 2006, Bill Richardson is goal-oriented, assertive and confident. He has the ability to quickly evaluate a situation but is not afraid to admit he has made a mistake. Richardson will modify his course of action when necessary. He takes a practical approach to governing, focusing on solutions to problems rather than ideology.
What about Bill Richardson the person? We can learn much from the person that has known him for forty three years of his life, Barbara Richardson. They met when he was 17 and she was 16 and gave him a ride back to his school from the nearby town.
This is cross posted at MyDD as part of its candidate series. I'm not part of the Richardson campaign.
Recently, the Concord Monitor profiled Barbara Richardson and her relationship with her husband. The article started by mentioning a gift, a black velvet sombrero, that appeared on her parents' doorstep in Concord, Massachusetts, in 1966, from the boy who had fallen in love with her:
The hat - and the love note tucked inside - came from Bill Richardson, a student at the local prep school who'd been smitten with her since she'd offered him a ride a few months before. He picked up the sombrero on a visit home to his family in Mexico City and used it to launch a relationship that that would take the couple to Congress and the United Nations, to the New Mexico State House and, most recently, onto the presidential campaign trail.
. . . Barbara Richardson expected her husband to go to Washington, D.C., as a congressman. Sure enough, a few years after the couple married in 1972, they moved to New Mexico and launched a campaign. "I worked very hard," she said. "I was the chief cook and bottle washer. He went out and campaigned while I ran everything else in the office."
. . . In the last five years, [Barbara Richardson has] taken taken on domestic violence, urging her husband to create a Domestic Violence Advisory Board and hire a "czar" to improve programs for victims throughout New Mexico. She also helped open a shelter for abused spouses in a corner of the state where such services had been nonexistent. At the same time, she led an effort to immunize more of the state's children. She also chairs the state's Read Across America program and runs an annual bowling fundraiser for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
. . . "This is the first time I've been . . . in a profile position, not only to effect change but to have the wherewithal to do it," [Barbara Richardson] said on a recent trip to Concord. "One person can make a difference, especially someone who has a profile and the means to affect lives in a positive way. Someone like me, who's pretty private, has to learn to balance those public and private personas. You can't do it all. I would rather be honest than try to please people."
What insight can Barbara Richardson offer us on her husband? Watch the following video clip of her speaking to voters in Nevada on Bill Richardson's unique gifts:
Here is another clip of Barbara Richardson from New Hampshire speaking about why she believes in her husband:
If you'd like to learn more about Richardson the person and his life, I suggest you watch this profile by Charles Gibson:
I also recommend "High Ambition," a series on Richardson by The Albuquerque Journal earlier this year. Here is the link to the first article in the five-part series.