03 February 2007


New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson says U.S. troops should be pulled out of Iraq by the end of the year.

Richardson, one of three presidential candidates to address the Democratic National Committee Annual Meeting today in Washington, said the U.S. has accomplished what it set out to do in Iraq - overthrow Saddam Hussein.

And, he says now is the time to get out. And Congress must see that it happens by the end of this year.

"As someone who served in Congress for 14 years," Richardson said, "I know the power they hold should they choose to weild it. The Congress passed a resolution authorizing war. They need to pass another that overturns that authorization. And brings our troops home by the end of this year. "


Delaware Sen. Joe Biden also spoke to the Dems gathered in Washington today, opening his remarks with one more apology for his comments in the New York Observer this week in which he managed to blast the party's top-three candidates of the moment and make racially insensitive remarkes about one of those candidates - Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

"I want to say I truly regret that words I spoke offended people I admire.
I'm humbled that so many of these same people, as well as you in this room, viewed those words through the prism of my history and my heart. For that I'll be forever grateful."

Biden stayed on safer ground the rest of the way, knocking President Bush rather than members of his own party.

Biden offered his plan for Iraq, which calls for separating the warring factions.

"Give the factions breathing room in their own regions with control over their local police. And over the fabric of their daily lives: education - marriage -- jobs. Give the central government responsibility for borders, currency and the army. Guarantee the Sunnis their fair share of oil revenues. Draw down our troops -- don't escalate -- forcing Iraq's leaders to reach a political settlement. And make Iraq the world's problem by having the U.N. convene a conference of the world's major powers to insist that Iraq's neighbors support that settlement."


Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack was on hand to plead his case as well, say he has dedicated his public life "to those on the outside looking in," stressing the need for change in Washington and the need to govern by hope not by fear.
Among other things, Vilsack called for a repeal of the "No Child Left Behind Act' saying it's creating a nation of "test takers" when what we really need is "creative and innovative thinkers," and an education system that will produce them.
See his entire speech here.


Republican Rudy Giuliani, who formed an exploratory committee in November but has been reluctant to announce his candidacy for the GOP nomination told the Associated Press today "there's a real good chance" he'll run.

Giuliani made the comments after a speech in Columbia, S.C. today.

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