|Bill Richardson had an impressive resume but couldn't match his opponents' star power. (JIM COLE/ASSOCIATED PRESS)|
MERRIMACK, N.H. - New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson ended his campaign for the presidency yesterday after twin fourth-place finishes that showed his impressive credentials could not compete with his rivals' star power.
Richardson planned to announce the decision today, 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 yesterday 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 state house, as well as his unique role as a freelance diplomat. As a Hispanic, he added to the unprecedented diversity in the Democratic field, which also included an African-American and a woman.
But Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama dominated the spotlight in the campaign, and Richardson was never able to become a top-tier contender. He accused his rivals of failing to commit to bring troops home from Iraq soon enough.
He portrayed his campaign as a job application for president and ran clever ads that showed a bored interviewer unimpressed with his dazzling resume. The commercials helped fuel his move to double-digit support in some early state polls, and advisers argued that he was poised to move past former vice presidential nominee John Edwards for the role of third-place challenger.
But he was not able to build the momentum, placing a distant fourth in Iowa and New Hampshire. Richardson came in with 2 percent of the vote in Iowa last week and just under 5 percent in New Hampshire on Tuesday.