Matt Yglesias attended a speech
by Bill Richardson and got a chance to talk with him beforehand. He came away impressed by Richardson's charisma
, which is not something I hear very much. It's a good sign for Gov. Richardson, since up to now any ability he has in that area have been, it seems, deliberately set aside in favor of highlighting his resume. Since Matt came away from the speech and his conversation with Richardson impressed not only by his ambitious energy policy but also by his personality, I'd say that Richardson is starting to break out of his cocoon, so to speak.
The commercials he's running in Iowa to near universal acclaim are also going to do a lot to make him seem like an extremely likable guy. Now all he needs to do is control the sweating on stage problem which hurt his appearance at the Democratic debate.
Richardson clearly hasn't broken out of the second tier. However, he is still solidly at the top of that tier, and is gaining ground. It's an interesting race to watch.