|2007 Primaries:||Clinton's book||Edwards' book||Giuliani's book||Huckabee's book||Obama's book||Richardson's book||2007 Debates|
Between Worlds: The Making of an American Life, by Bill Richardson, with Michael Ruby
(Click for Amazon book review)
BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:
"Between Worlds" was written in 2005, before Richardson was officially running for President, but he was clearly preparing by publishing this book. The book outlines Richardson's issue stances clearly, and places him in the most positive light surrounding how the issues were promoted. If Richardson breaks through as a major candidate, or (more likely) if he is nominated as Vice President, this book will become a major source of material to pore over, and to compare to others' perspectives.
The book also deals with Richardson's biggest negative: the security breach at a nuclear facility under his leadership as Energy Secretary. Richardson discusses the issue in several contexts, and accepts some responsibility for the security breach (while elaborating numerous other sources of responsibility). The book's perspective on the breach feels like a "clearing of the air," where a candidate puts forth his biggest negative to prevent it from becoming a campaign issue. This strategy has evidently worked, since the issue has not been raised much during the presidential campaign (or maybe that's only because Richardson is still only a second-tier candidate).
Richardson is certainly the single most well-qualified candidate for president, of all of the candidates on both the Republican and Democratic side. His book details his resume: US Congressman; UN Ambassador; in Bill Clinton's Cabinet as Secretary of Energy; special envoy to North Korea and numerous other hotspots; interviewed on John Kerry's "short list" for Vice President; Governor of New Mexico; America's only Hispanic Governor. His first campaign ads, in May 2007, made this same point, in a humorous way, that his impressive resume seems somehow irrelevant to what people look for in a potential president.
What IS relevant is Richardson's geography--New Mexico and the rest of the Rockies will likely be the biggest battleground in the 2008 election. The "red states" from New Mexico up to Montana are likely to become "blue states", because of shifting demographics and shifting party issues. New Mexico and Richardson could figure prominently in that battle.
Richardson elaborates his long relationship with Bill Clinton, where he describes himself as a member of Clinton's "outer circle." He has nothing but praise for Clinton, even during their (sometimes major) disagreements. It's clear that Richardson has no intention of distancing himself from Bill Clinton, as Al Gore once did to great disadvantage. Hillary Clinton gets a few passing mentions--presumably because Richardson recognized that she would be his rival in the presidential race. There's nothing in this book that would prevent Hillary from putting Richardson on her short list for Vice President--which perhaps was Richardson's goal.
--Jesse Gordon, May 2007
-- Jesse Gordon, OnTheIssues editor-in-chief, Jan. 2008