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Excerpts from Books by and about 2008 candidates
Sen. Joe Biden
Promises to Keep
Sen. Sam Brownback
From Power to Purpose
Sen. Hillary Clinton
Living History
Pres. Bill Clinton
My Life
Sen. Chris Dodd
Letters from Nuremberg
Sen. John Edwards
Ending Poverty in America
Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Sen. Mike Gravel
Citizen Power
Gov. Mike Huckabee
From Hope to Higher Ground
Amb. Alan Keyes
Our Character, Our Future
Rep. Dennis Kucinich
A Prayer for America
Sen. John McCain
Why Courage Matters
Sen. Barack Obama
The Audacity of Hope
Rep. Ron Paul
A Foreign Policy of Freedom
Gov. Bill Richardson
Between Worlds
Gov. Mitt Romney
Rep. Tom Tancredo
Mortal Danger
Sen. Fred Thompson
Government at the Brink

(click a book cover for excerpts and a review or other books by or about the presidency from

Between Worlds: The Making of an American Life, by Bill Richardson, with Michael Ruby

(Click for Amazon book review)


"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

Click here for 23 full quotes from Bill Richardson in the book Between Worlds, by Bill Richardson.
OR click on an issue category below for a subset.
Civil Rights
   New Mexico is first "majority minority" state.
   Pushed "Marissa's Law"--tougher penalties for sex predators.
   Pushed "War on DWI"--you drink, you drive, you lose.
Energy & Oil
   Oversaw Dept. of Energy during nuclear lab security breach.
   Tapped Strategic Oil Reserve to pierce bubble in oil prices.
Foreign Policy
   Clinton administration negotiated North Korea nuclear freeze.
   First to visit Aung San Suu Kyi under Burmese house arrest.
   Negotiated with Castro to halve fee to emigrate from Cuba.
   When negotiating, focus on goals, not locale or format.
Free Trade
   NAFTA critically important for US as well as Mexico.
Health Care
   Shift Medicaid costs back from states to federal.
Homeland Security
   Negotiated for 1994 release of pilots downed in North Korea.
   Negotiated for 1995 release of US workers arrested in Iraq.
   9/11 shifted world focus from nukes to terrorism.
Principles & Values
   In Guinness Book of World Records for most handshakes.
   New Progressivism: combine opportunity with accountability.
   Richardson's Rules for negotiating.
Social Security
   Focus budget reform like Soc. Sec., avoiding future burden.
Tax Reform
   Cut NM capital gains tax & income tax from 8.2% to 4.9%.
   Pushed R&D tax credit--3 year tax holiday for high tech.
War & Peace
   Voted against Kuwait war but later regretted it.
   Iraq was single biggest issue as Clinton's UN ambassador.
   Negotiated with Taliban in 1998 to extradite Osama bin Laden.

The above quotations are from Between Worlds: The Making of an American Life, by Bill Richardson, with Michael Ruby.

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