From NBC's Huma Zaidi
Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, former senator Mike Gravel of Alaska and former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack all had their turn to address the DNC winter meeting yesterday. While it might have been Biden's speech most were waiting to hear, it was Richardon's address that was perhaps the most worth hearing.
Richardson covered all the bases by touting his foreign relations and policy experience (typically not a strong suit for a governor) and reeled off a list of domestic issues that he has successfully addressed in his home state. Turning to Iraq, Richardson said "It's time for our troops to leave with honor." Unforgiving of Bush, Richardson accused the president of being blind to the anger gripping the country over the war -- which he called a symptom of arrogance -- and said emboldening terrorists was one mission the president had accomplished. He also called on the DNC to encourage all candidate to run "clean" campaigns. Richardson was a crowd favorite as we lost count of the number of standing ovations he received and managed to inject just enough humor into his speech so that we didn't notice it ran almost twenty minutes. (The DNC asked candidates to keep their speeches to about seven minutes.)
The usually loquacious Biden kept his address short and began by offering another apology for his remarks about Sen. Barack Obama. "I want to say that I truly regret that the words I spoke offended people that I admire very much," Biden said. Vilsack touted himself as an "outsider" who could bring real change to Washington while Gravel chided Democrats for not opposing the war when it mattered and said the Democrats' "mealy-mouthed" nonbiding resolution was not resolute enough.