February 21, 2007

Richardson Visits Denver, Selects Colorado Staff

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has chosen former Democratic candidate for Senate in 1996 and 2002, Tom Strickland, as one of his Colorado campaign co-chairs, and attended a fundraiser this evening.

The glaring absence of media coverage indicates the amount of attention directed at Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama--and the vast chasm that separates the Democratic frontrunners from the dark horse candidates in their party. Though it appears that the GOP frontrunners have solid leads, they are far from being anointed the clear choice. Democratic also-rans appear to be steadily fading into the background noise for the top spot.

At this point, Richardson might be angling for VP consideration, and this could be the best possible scenario for this former Clinton Cabinet member, banking on his own ethnicity and the "up-for-grabs" Mountain West as leverage for consideration.

Others believe he is being overlooked

**Update, which essentially backs conclusions made here earlier:
Other political observers see Richardson as a compromise candidate if the current front-runners badly bruise each other, or as an attractive vice presidential candidate to tilt the ticket West.

"Because the West is going to be important to Democrats in 2008, perhaps more important than ever before, he would be a strong candidate for vice president," said Gayle Berardi, a Democratic political science professor at Colorado State University at Pueblo.

But Richardson doesn't see himself running for the second spot on the ticket.

"You don't run for president to be vice president," he said. "I'm in the race to win."
He may not see himself as running for VP consideration, but unless both Hillary AND Obama become damaged goods and are DOA as potential candidates by this time next year, it is difficult to imagine Richardson garnering enough support to make it to the Democratic Convention in Denver as anything other than the VP on the ticket.


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