COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - If experience were the only qualification, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson would be a shoo-in for president.
But with frustration with the political system running high and candidates who call for "change" enjoying success on the campaign trail, experience scores few points with voters - and, in fact, may be a liability.
Richardson, a former congressman, ambassador and Cabinet member, couldn't get any traction during his presidential run, and he announced Thursday he was dropping out of the Democratic race.
"The time has come to end my quest and come home to tackle the challenges before us in New Mexico," Richardson told cheering supporters in his state capital of Santa Fe.
In his final debate Saturday, Richardson seemed frustrated by the notion that experience was a liability.
"Look, what we need is change. There's no question. But, you know, whatever happened to experience? Is experience kind of a leper?" Richardson asked. "What is wrong with having been, like myself, 14 years in the Congress, two Cabinet positions?"