January 10, 2008 in Nation/World

Richardson quits Democratic race

Nedra Pickler Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson speaks to supporters in Manchester, N.H., on Tuesday.
(Full-size photo)

MERRIMACK, N.H. – New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson ended his campaign for the presidency Wednesday after twin fourth-place finishes that showed his impressive credentials could not compete with his rivals’ star power.

Richardson planned to announce the decision today, according to two people close to the governor.

The Richardson campaign would not comment on the governor’s decision, reached after a meeting with his top advisers Wednesday in New Mexico.

Richardson had one of the most wide-ranging resumes of any candidate ever to run for the presidency, bringing experience from his time in Congress, President Clinton’s Cabinet, in the New Mexico statehouse as well as his unique role as a freelance diplomat. As a Hispanic, he added to the unprecedented diversity in the Democratic field that also included a black person and a woman.

But Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama dominated the spotlight in the campaign, and Richardson was never able to become a top-tier contender.

He portrayed his campaign as a job application for president, and ran clever ads that showed a bored interviewer unimpressed with his dazzling resume. The commercials helped fuel his move to double-digit support in some early state polls, and advisers argued he was poised to move past former vice presidential nominee John Edwards for the role of third-place challenger.

But he was not able to build the momentum and came in a distant fourth place in Iowa and New Hampshire. Richardson didn’t quite get 5 percent in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday and came in with just 2 percent in the Iowa caucus last week.

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