On paper, Richardson belongs in the top five. No candidate in the field has the resume depth of the New Mexico governor: former member of Congress, U. N. Ambassador, cabinet secretary and now chief executive of a state. Plus he is Hispanic -- the fastest growing population in the country. But we are hesitant about treating Richardson as a top-tier candidate for one reason: discipline (or the lack of it). Richardson is an ebullient personality who seems to love the back and forth of politics. But we are not convinced that he can develop a message and stick to it for months on end. A successful presidential candidate needs to be committed to regular repetition of the basic message each day. Can Richardson stick to that kind of rigid script?
I believe Bill should be in the top five, and not just because I know him personally and to some degree professionally [as a news source while I was International Editor of the Oil Daily].
The reason I support Bill is because he does have discipline, both in his professional and personal life. He is ebullient because he is brilliant, a sort of Larry Summers in politics. Yes, that has a downside---but Bill's political instincts are more finely honed than, say Joe Biden's, who has a high level of expertise, but constantly talks way past the hard break necessary for sustained attention.
Also, I'm reading a book on Teddy Kennedy and am reminded on how well Teddy had adjusted to his profession of politician---but he had a obvious terminally fatal flaw. Richardson is Teddy without the personal demons, but with Kennedy's and Clinton's charisma.
Brainwise, Bill R. beats Teddy and is equal to Billy Jeff Clinton, and common-sense wise, this fellow would be a perfect Vice Presidential contender, if the Dems ever get over their obsession with laundry-list PC codes.
Hillary/Bill R. versus McCain/Condi would be a Fourth of July display of political fireworks on the 2008 March to the White House.