12/29/2013 01:07 pm ET

Bill Richardson Speculates On A John Kerry Presidential Run

Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) said on Sunday that people shouldn't rule out John Kerry as a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, particularly after his successful first year as secretary of state.

"I think John Kerry is the big political surprise, and by that I mean, you know, maybe he makes another run," Richardson said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "Well, this is just me, but I think he's got the credentials. He's run before, he's been a superb secretary of state."

Kerry, then a senator from Massachusetts, ran for president and lost in 2004. He took the job of secretary of state earlier this year after Hillary Clinton, a likely 2016 contender, left the post. Some have speculated whether Kerry's recent foreign policy successes could dwarf Clinton's accomplishments.

"Meet the Press" host David Gregory asked Richardson whether he thinks Clinton is "vulnerable to criticism as secretary of state, especially compared to Kerry."

"I don't think so," said Richardson, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the late 1990s. "I think she's been a good secretary of state. The one that has really positively surprised me is John Kerry. ... He doesn't care about any risk. Going into the Israeli-Palestinian issue, going into the Iran issue, going into these quagmires in Africa -- he has been a superb secretary of state."

Richardson said Clinton is "by far the frontrunner," but pointed out other potential Democratic candidates.

"The question is, is she going to run? I think 160 percent yes," he said. "But there are others. There's [New York] Governor [Andrew] Cuomo. There's Vice President [Joe] Biden."



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