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The Richardson papers go to Texas

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By Hal Rhodes

Bill Richardson’s decision to donate his accumulated papers to the University of Texas at Austin’s Dolph Briscoe Center for American History has raised eyebrows and ruffled feathers in certain quadrants of New Mexico politics.
Which only stands to reason. Richardson’s political career began in the early 1980s with his election to the U.S House of Representatives from the state’s 3rd Congressional District and culminated, so to speak, in 2002 when he was elected to the first of his two terms as governor of New Mexico.
Along the way he rose to a position of leadership in Congress, served as President Bill Clinton’s Ambassador to the United Nations and as U.S. Energy Secretary in the Clinton administration.
Throughout it all, Richardson gained a national reputation and a measure of celebrity as a gifted diplomatic trouble-shooter and negotiator called upon by Democratic and Republican presidents alike to aid in the release of American hostages in such countries as North Korea, Sudan and Iraq.
Indeed, such was Richardson’s reputation for diplomatic wizardry that just days after taking his first oath of office as governor, a delegation of North Korean emissaries appeared on his doorstep in Santa Fe seeking his counsel on their dealings in Washington.


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