Leveling the playing field.
Question: Should Iowa and New Hampshire stay at the head of the primary schedule?
Bill Richardson: Yes I do. And you know why? Because I’ve been through Iowa and New Hampshire. And the way the Iowans and New Hampshirans ask questions, they look into your soul. They ask policy questions. They’ve been through it before. They know that their vote counts, so they take this job of selecting candidates very seriously. You know at first – I’ll be honest – I thought that, “Geez, how am I gonna do? A Hispanic from New Mexico in states that are very Anglo.” So when they brought into the early primaries Nevada – which has a Hispanic population – and South Carolina an African-American population, I thought it would be healthier that diversity would come into the first four states. But I have found – and I mean this sincerely – that Iowa and New Hampshire respect diversity; that Iowa and New Hampshire having been through the whole process before, and having valued grass roots campaigning . . . and the fact that Iowa and New Hampshire like to upset the apple cart; like underdogs; are not swayed by the national media telling them who’s gonna win or who’s ahead; it’s made it into a very healthy process. And I believe that I’m getting an even shot in Iowa and New Hampshire even though I don’t have the resources, or the glamour, or the political pedigree of some of the other candidates. And you know who I’m talking about.
Recorded on: 11/20/07