Bill Richardson: Who are you?
Bill Richardson is the Governor of New Mexico and former candidate for the 2008 Democratic nomination. Of Hispanic descent, Richardson was born in Pasadena, California, but spent most of his childhood in Mexico City. Richardson graduated from Tufts University, from which he also received a Masters in International Affairs. In 1982, Richardson was elected to the United States House of Representatives. During his time in the House, Richardson focused on foreign affairs as well as on issues of importance to the Native American community. In 1997, Bill Clinton appointed Richardson United States Ambassador to the United Nations; Richardson left that post in 1998 to become Secretary of Energy. Richardson is known for his "shuttle diplomacy" and has been nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize. Richardson was first elected the Governor of New Mexico in 2003; he was reelected in 2007 in a landslide, earning 69% of the vote. Richardson is the author of two recent books: the campaign autobiography Between Worlds: The Making of an American Life, and Leading by Example: How We Can Inspire an Energy and Security Revolution.
Question: Who are you?
Bill Richardson: Bill Richardson. Governor of the state of New Mexico. I come from a bicultural background. I was born in California but raised in Mexico City. A mother that would only speak Spanish to me; a father who wouldn’t speak to me. No (Chuckles) . . . who would speak English to me. Totally bilingual, bicultural background. I think it’s shaped me because it’s allowed me to respect other cultures, other points of view. I pride myself as a negotiator, a diplomat, bringing people together, a healer. And that bilingual background – a mother and a grandmother that gave me a sense of social justice, of who I am, of trying to help others – gave me, I believe, the impetus to eventually run for public office; to be a diplomat; to be an administrator; and now to run for President as somebody that, more than anything, is qualified to bring people together.
Recorded on: 11/20/07
The qualifications of a bicultural background.
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