Candidate: Bill Richardson
Political Background: Governor of New Mexico, Former U.S. Representative, Former U.N. Ambassador, Former U.S. Secretary of Energy
Campaign Website: http://www.richardsonforpresident.com/
Dem Appeal: Against Iraq War, strong energy conservationist and supports alternative fuels and research, supports "path of legalization" of illegal immigrants and supports sanctuary cities until comprehensive immigration reform takes place, pro-universal health care, advocates regulated fair trade, believes we need to cooperate with UN and exercise diplomacy.
Cross-Party Appeal to Republicans: Vast experience in government, opposes raising the Social Security tax cap on the middle class, record of tax reduction in New Mexico, Supports civil unions, not gay marriage. Anti-base closure. Received NRA endorsement as Governor of New Mexico.
Cons: At odds with general party line on taxes, despite his base closure stance has generally unfavorable view of military use, believes he is the only person who can unconditionally negotiate peace in the Middle East without any need for economic pressure. Not a strong communicator of Democratic Party's platform.
My Personal Thoughts: If there is one candidate who can stake the claim as being "the most qualified for the job of President of the United States", it's probably Bill Richardson. He's been an executive, a legislator, a diplomat, and a member of a presidential cabinet.
I'm surprised that Richardson hasn't garnered more support, but it's understandable since the "big names" in terms of Democratic candidates have come out seeking nomination themselves. If you remove one of the big 3 (Hillary, Obama, Edwards), then Bill Richardson is a BIG threat for the nomination. Richardson, on most issues, pretty well toes the party line in terms of where he stands.
Richardson has appeal to GOP voters due to some of his moderate stances, pro-tax cut stances, and his pro-2nd Amendment stances.
However, I think Richardson is currently no more a candidate for VP...which he has already stated he would not accept and that he'd rather remain Governor of New Mexico. It's a shame, because as much as I disagree with the general Democratic Party's positions...it's slightly easier to take it from a man with Richardson's credentials.