He is a Dem with a killer resume, and was Hispanic to boot, showing that the Democrats have a deep, diverse and qualified field that makes the GOP candidates look pathetically retro. Alas, we know credentials in today's elections aren't what carry the day, which is too bad. Bill Richardson would be an fine VP pick. (AP):

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 Thursday, according to two people close to the governor with knowledge of the decision. They spoke on a condition of anonymity in advance of the governor's announcement.

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 and a woman.

You may recall his epic misstep at the HRC/Logo forum, but Bill Richarson's record on LGBT issues, aside from his 1996 vote on DOMA while in Congress and being another candidate just not thereyet on marriage equality, is progressive by any measure.

* He signed legislation expanding New Mexico civil rights laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity. (At the time, only three other states had included transgender protections.)

* He signed a hate crimes law that included actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.

* He signed an executive order in 2003 extending health insurance and other benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of N.M. state employees.

* He's on record backing full-fledged civil unions and (unlike John Kerry) opposes state-level constitutional amendments banning gays from marrying.

* While in Congress, Richardson backed military service for out gay men and lesbians. That means, unlike Al Gore, John Kerry, John Edwards, Hillary and the rest, he was anti-Don't Ask, Don't Tell when it was very uncool to be.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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