Richardson To Stress Qualifications In Early Ads

Bill Richardson is playing up his qualifications in upcoming television ads. For a second tier candidate, the best strategy right now might be to attempt to position himself as the most viable alternative to Hillary Clinton. With Obama having relatively little experience, and Edwards having far less, stressing his credentials might be Richardson’s best chance to get considered:

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is infusing humor into a new campaign commercial by showing the presidential candidate in a mock job interview that emphasizes his credentials.

In the first ad scheduled to begin airing in Iowa Thursday, a “prospective employer” runs through a list of Richardson’s previous jobs and highlights such accomplishments as negotiating with various dictators and being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times. The employer then takes a bite of a sandwich and asks the governor, “What makes you think you can be president?”

The second ad shows Richardson later in the interview peppering him with questions and cutting off his answers.

“For what we’re looking for, you might be a little over qualified,” the employer said in the ad.

Dave Contarino, Richardson’s campaign manager, said the goal of the ad was to “use humor to communicate Governor Richardson’s vast record of achievement in public service, foreign affairs and as Governor of New Mexico.

For this strategy to be effective, Richardson’s experience must be seen beyond his resume and his own commercials. Richardson will have to do a better job than he did in the first Democratic debate if he is to become competitive with the top tier.

If Richardson can obtain attention based upon his qualifications, he might then have a chance to differentiate himself on the issues. Simply having a well articulated positon on the issues would present a favorable contrast to Obama at this point. Richardson’s record at cutting taxes, with a more libertarian view on some issues, can provide a valuable alternative to the Nanny State views of Hillary Clinton and the populism of John Edwards. While many moderates and “Starbucks Republicans” are now voting Democratic and might prefer Richardson’s views, I fear that these new Democratic voters will not be as active in the primary races. They also might never hear Richardson’s views from a news media which is primarily concerned with the horse race, and ignores both issues and ignores the candidates who trail in the polls.

1 Comment

  1. 1
    Frank McBride says:

    Heaven forbid there should be serious consideration given to the most qualified candidate for the job.

    What the heck is going on when someone like Richardson is thought of as a “second-tier” candidate?

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