The reviews are in

Dear Friend,

The president's seventh State of the Union address sounded very much like numbers one through six -- stubborn and out of touch.

His previous speeches were full of promises later broken -- on energy independence, health care affordability, and fiscal responsibility. And once again, he spoke heartwarming words about bipartisan cooperation that just don't fit the polarizing political tactics of this administration and its allies.

Is anyone really listening to him anymore?

It is clear he is not listening to us. He has mired us in Iraq with no end in sight. Our economy no longer works for millions of Americans and multi-billion dollar deficits threaten Social Security and Medicare.

Fortunately, the American people still have a clear idea of what they want in a president. Earlier this week I asked you to write about your vision of what the next president must be able to do.

Reading the responses from people like you, I was struck by your longing for trustworthy and mature leadership, for a president with the vision, competence, and integrity to be respected at home and around the world.

Will you add your voice to the thousands who have spoken out about what America needs in its next president? You can make your statement here:

http://www.richardsonforpresident.com/nextpres

Here are just a few of your comments. Our next president must be able to:

"... inspire us with a vision that clearly articulates what it means to be an American, in terms of our commitment to core values and in terms of our responsibilities to the world at large."

--Robert B., Scottsdale, AZ

"... act wisely, knowing that America's strength is in our ideas, in our democratic tradition, in our constitutional process, and in the engine of opportunity that makes us the wealthiest nation in the world."

--Gregory K., Albuquerque, NM

"... work effectively with the leaders of other countries to develop solutions to economic, environmental, and health problems that have a global impact."

--Carol R., New York, NY

"... hit the ground running. We've learned to our vast dismay that being president is not a job that you can learn as you go. It is quite possibly the hardest job in the world, and inexperience has global repercussions. We can only entrust the Oval Office to someone who has already demonstrated an absolute command of the issues and global challenges facing our nation."

--Geoff C., Brookline, MA

"... unite the country with a positive purpose, both domestic and international. The next president must be someone who can gain the respect of the citizens of this country and of the international community, restoring America as a role model among nations. The next president must be someone who knows how to negotiate and who is willing to talk with all parties to reach some common resolutions."

--Charlene C., OR

I hope you're as inspired as I am by the strong recognition of the challenges we face, and the hope and determination that we can meet and overcome them together.

I've never been more confident that together we can make the state of our union stronger than ever.

Yours sincerely,

Governor Bill Richardson