Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson says he doesn’t expect to win the Iowa Caucuses, but he thinks he can at least finish third. To do that Richardson would have to displace one of the perceived top-tier candidates, either John Edwards, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.
Richardson says recent polls show he’s climbed to double-digit support in the state, bringing him closer to the top tier of candidates. "The reason is my TV ads and my intensive personal campaigning talking about issues. I’m trying to get through that I’m the most qualified candidate with the experience and ability to change the country," he says. "But a lot of it is just handshaking, meeting a lot of Iowans."
Over the noon hour, Richardson delivered a speech in Des Moines to the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy. Richardson told the group that President Bush doesn’t understand that a successful foreign policy requires both a strong military and smart diplomacy.
Richardson is a former Ambassador to the United Nations, and he talked about negotiating head-to-head with Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro and the leaders of North Korea. "I’ve gotten all these tough guys to do what I wanted because I put away my disdain of them and I talked to them. You need to know your enemy if you want him to cooperate," Richardson said. "Talking to people is no guarantee of success, but refusing to talk to them is usually a precursor to failing."
Richardson said one of his first moves if elected president will be to appoint a full-time, high-level envoy dedicated to improving America’s relationship with the Muslim world.