New Mexico Governor and Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson says Iowans like an underdog and he plans to aggressively campaign here for support in the Iowa Caucuses.
"I’m going to be coming here not with big rallies in gyms," Richardson says, referring to competitors who’ve drawn huge crowds in their appearances here this year. "…The last message I want to give Iowans is keep your powder dry. Wait ’til you get a chance to talk to me and see what I’m about…I care deeply about doing well here in Iowa."
Richardson is here today and tomorrow, with several meet-and-greet events scheduled in central Iowa. He contends Iowa politics are "grassroots" oriented and give him an opportunity to do well against bigger name candidates like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama who are drawing the big crowds. "I like the fact that Iowa likes underdogs," Richardson says. "I like the fact that Iowans like to see candidates face-to-face in house parties."
Richardson served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and he says that gives him experience in the foreign policy that is unmatched by the other candidates. "I know how we could get out of Iraq. I know how to restore America’s international standing," Richardson says. "…I believe that I’m the candidate with the best experience."
Richardson openly concedes he is "not a rock star" — a line often uttered by former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack when he was running for president. Richardson, who won re-election as governor of New Mexico in November, says he will not "have the resources" — meaning the money — that Clinton and Obama will amass, but Richardson says there is an opening for a "grassroots" candidate like him in the 2008 race.
Richardson made his comments during taping of an Iowa Public Television program that airs tonight at 6:30.