Richardson Blog Round Up for Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What makes a good leader?  What qualities should we look for when choosing our next President?  Most of us know what we don't want -- any characteristics of the current administration.  But it's important for us as responsible citizens to learn from the past choose someone who will lead our country to a brighter future.  In his latest book, Where Have All the Leaders Gone?, Lee Iacocca discussed leadership -- how our current President lacks it, and how to know for the future who has it.  At Huffington Post, Mike Lyon determined what we already knew -- Governor Richardson has it:
I found [Iacocca's] "nine C's of leadership" to be, particularly interesting as a useful template for conducting due diligence. I tested Mr. Iacocca's formula by scoring each candidate on a scale from one to five in the categories listed below.

I was surprised with my results. Out of a possible 50 points, Bill Richardson scored 40, 10 points ahead of his closest opponent. I have always thought of the governor as well-qualified but was pretty amazed to see him out pace the others in such a way...

[the "nine C's of leadership"]

1) Curiosity
Listen to people outside the "Yes, Sir" crowd. Read voraciously.

2) Creative
Go out on a limb. Leadership is all about managing change.

3) Communicate
A simple one. You should be talking to everybody, even your enemies.

4) Character
Having the guts to do the right thing. If you don't make it on character, the rest won't amount to much.

5) Courage
Courage in the 21st century doesn't mean posturing and bravado. Courage is a commitment to sit down at the negotiation table and talk.

6) Conviction
Fire in your belly. You've got to really want to get something done.

7) Charisma
The ability to inspire. People follow a leader because they trust him/her.

8) Competent
Surround yourself with people who know what they are doing. Be a problem solver.

9) Common Sense
Your ability to reason.

Bonus:
The biggest C is "crisis." Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory or send someone else's kids off to war when you have never seen a battlefield yourself.

Commenting on Lyon's post, swampygirl67 agreed with the score Lyon gave Governor Richardson based on the "nine c's":
I'm not surprised that Bill Richardson rated high on Lee Iacocca's leadership test. He is by far the best qualified candidate in the race, which is why I become infuriated when I hear people saying that he can't win. I believe that Bill Richardson CAN win if enough people recognize his experience, intelligence, and guts. This man is right on Iraq, he's right on foreign policy, he's right on human rights, he's right on education, he's right on choice. He knows how to make things happen. He is the most capable, real, practical and experienced candidate we've seen in years. How sad it is that his honesty, forthrightness and passion are perceived as lack of "charisma." Abraham Lincoln was considered a long-shot for the Presidency because he was viewed as uncommonly ugly, had a high, piercing tenor voice, often forgot things, and was a poor extemporaneous speaker. Luckily, the voters of 1860 were smart enough to understand that America needed a President with leadership, not charisma...
What do you think about the "nine C's of leadership" as outlined here?  What "c's" are most important to you, and where do you think Governor Richardson's strengths lie?  Feel free to discuss this with your comments.

Yesterday afternoon, Governor Richardson participated in the LiveStrong Cancer Forum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Tony Leys covered the event for the Des Moines Register:

Democratic presidential candidates vowed Monday to renew the "War on Cancer" that President Richard Nixon declared in 1971.  New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio headlined the first-of-its-kind forum, organized by the Lance Armstrong Foundation...

Richardson said two-thirds of cancer deaths are preventable. He said that as New Mexico governor, he enacted a public-smoking ban, pushed junk food out of schools and increased health insurance coverage of children.

Richardson said federal medical-research financing should be doubled to fight cancer and other ailments. He noted other targets, including diabetes, autism and mental illness.  "We have to have an all-out assault to conquer these diseases," he said.

At Iowa Independent and Essential Estrogen blogs, Lynda Waddington focussed on Governor Richardson's remarks at the forum:
Neglected Promises Not Nearly Enough, Says Richardson

Gov. Bill Richardson not only pointed to his successes in New Mexico while discussing cancer at the LiveStrong Presidential Forum in Cedar Rapids, but called past, broken promises on to the carpet.  "Richard Nixon, in 1971, declared a war on cancer," he said. "We're not doing too well in that war. This president wants a surge in the war on Iraq. I want a surge in the war on cancer."

Citing how the entire national budget for cancer research is roughly spent during a two-week period in Iraq, Richardson described current budget priorities "pathetic." "I'm going to talk to you about not only what I would do as president," he said, "but what I've done as a governor."

During the course of his opening remarks, Richardson pointed to increases in stem cell research, removal of junk foods from schools, requiring physical education for students, providing children with healthy breakfasts and implementing comprehensive smoking bans as a few of his successes in New Mexico. Following his public appearance, Richardson stated that, as president, he would continue steps he began in New Mexico to increase access to the human papillomavirus vaccine.  "Access was increased by providing additional funding to the New Mexico Department of Health, which provided the vaccine on a voluntary basis," he said.

Additionally, in Richardson's state, all insurance companies are required to cover the costs associated with the vaccine, the first developed to prevent cervical cancer and other diseases in women.  "[As president] I would focus on an America that is fully committed to bio-medical research," he told forum participants."... the American people need to have an president who is on their side."

In order to find money for what he views as essential research, Richardson says he'd use a multi-faceted approach.  "Nobody asks how much we've spent on the war in Iraq," he said. "That's $450 million dollars that could go to domestic needs -- health care, education and cancer research... Although I get booed when I say this, I would mandate a Constitutional amendment to balance the budget."

Corporate welfare, a line-item veto and tying Congressional salary increases to progress on reducing the deficit were also on Richardson's short list of ways he would find money to pay for additional cancer research.

If you missed the forum, you can check out Catherine Morgan's post at BlogHer.org:
This is a clip of Richardson's whole interview (13 minutes), and he did have a lot of smart ideas, and interesting comments:
Visit Catherine's post to watch that video and read more about the forum, or you can watch the video of the governor's performance in the debate on YouTube here.  For more information on Governor Richardson's committment to fighting cancer, click here.

Also yesterday, Governor Richardson set forth a plan to improve the way we care for the courageous men and women who rush to take care of us at some of our most vulnerable moments.  For USA Today's On Politics news blog, Jill Lawrence covered the governor's plan:

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has proposed ways to improve health care and coverage for firefighters, police officers and other first responders.

Among other things, his plan would create a fire fighters survival fund and make it easier for fire fighters to get compensation for job-related illnesses. You can see the details here.

For more on Governor Richardson's proposal, click here, and for more on the governor's entire health care policy platform, click here.

At Las Vegas Sun Politics today, Michael J. Mishak discussed the way typically Republican-leaning rural Nevada towns have become popular campaign stops for Democratic presidential candidates this election season:

At first blush, the pairing of those Democratic presidential candidates and rural Nevada towns is jarring. Democrats have typically avoided the historically Republican strongholds... And yet the rurals have become an unexpected battleground for Democrats seeking to win the Nevada caucus next year...

Although 89 percent of Nevada's Democrats live in Las Vegas and Reno, the state Democratic Party has weighted the caucus system slightly to help the rural counties. A Democrat's vote in Eureka and Esmeralda counties, for instance, is 10 times more valuable than one in Clark and Washoe counties. Still, those rural counties have fewer than 200 Democrats, which means the two major metro areas will have 85 percent of the delegates.

Nevertheless, candidate visits to rural areas dominate local headlines, often for the better part of a week.  At their core, the rural visits are smart politics: With the entire field competing fiercely in the Las Vegas and Reno areas -- and presumably splitting the Democratic vote, the candidate with the biggest rural operation could snag victory.

Beyond that, candidates are laying the groundwork for the general election. Nevada and the Intermountain West have emerged as the battleground for 2008, and polls show rural America more competitive now than at any other time since the 1996 presidential election...

"They're smart to be getting out there," said Jill Derby, chairwoman of the state Democratic Party. She should know. A native Nevadan with rural roots, Derby came within 5 percentage points of beating Republican Dean Heller last year in the state's 2nd Congressional District, an area with a 47 percent to 34 percent Republican edge in registered voters.

Derby said vigorous campaigning and the district's independent-minded voters combined to win her support. But just showing up, she said, played a big part. "They like to meet somebody. And if they meet somebody, that's the deal for a lot of them."

That seemed to be the case last week in Fernley, a booming town about 30 miles east of Reno in Lyon County. Richardson, the governor of New Mexico, packed a high school auditorium in what local officials called the town's first-ever visit by a presidential candidate.  Mayor Todd Cutler pronounced himself giddy. Charles Lawson, chairman of the Lyon County Democratic Central Committee, then endorsed Richardson...

Still, the campaigning is about more than just face time, Derby said. Candidates must do their homework on local issues. "To the degree that people can feel like he or she is one of us, knows our issues and is a down-home person, that makes a difference," she said.

And no one is working that angle more than Richardson, the sole Westerner in the race.  "I'm like you: a Westerner with values," Richardson told a crowd of about 100 in Fernley last week. "It seems every time that we're in one of these presidential debates one of those very snotty anchors gets up and says, 'Gov. Richardson, I noticed that you have an A-minus rating from the National Rifle Association. How do you explain that?' I say: 'I'm a hunter. I'm a Westerner.' This is something that in the West is a way of life. I'm not a criminal. I am somebody who values the Second Amendment."

Richardson called for a national water policy and pledged to create a Cabinet-level position on the issue. He said the government should play a greater role in solving traffic congestion by promoting light rail. Also, Richardson boasted about Nevada's potential for alternative energy production and said the government should offer tax incentives to companies that move to rural areas.

To join Nevada for Richardson and to sign up to volunteer in the state, click here.  To get involved with the campaign anywhere else, click here.

That's a wrap for today, I hope you'll come by again tomorrow.  Until then,
Alison

Tags: 2008, Bill Richardson, Blogosphere, Democrats, first responders, Health care, leadership, Livestrong, Nevada (all tags)

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