Some good news for the Barack Obama campaign. Former Democratic presidential candidate and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson endorses his former competitor. At a rally in Portland, Oregon, the governor "said the Illinois senator demonstrated his leadership abilities this week with his speech on race. 'You are a once-in-a-lifetime leader,' the governor said from the stage. 'Above all, you will be a president who brings this nation together.' "
Richardson—probably angling for the vice presidential slot—boasts an absolutely stellar resumé and the endorsement gives the Obama campaign some much-needed foreign policy bragging rights. The endorsement may have more impact around Super Tuesday or going into Texas, but it comes as a gift now, coming after the past five or six news cycles, which have been brutal.
Richardson is the nation's only Hispanic governor and there is some speculation this will give Obama traction with the Latino vote, which so far is going for Clinton two to one. Eh, probably not. Outside of New Mexico and Texas, Richardson, who is Mexican-American, probably doesn't have much of a constituency, Hispanic or otherwise. None of the states in the remaining primary roster boast a significant Hispanic population.
The Richardson endorsement is (somewhat) significant because it's another superdelegate for Obama and may create more supers to move. On the other hand, it raises more questions on the "will of the people argument." Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake quotes Richardson speaking on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer when he said, "Superdelegates should vote according to who they represent. If somebody's appointed as a superdelegate because they're Hispanic or a governor, they should pay attention to what their voters and their constituencies are saying." Richardson, Jane notes, "seems to be talking out of both sides of his mouth on this one. New Mexico went for Clinton, and Hispanics in the New Mexico caucuses went 2-1 for Clinton. If Richardson thinks superdelegates should 'vote according to who they represent,' who does he think he's representing?"
That's a good question. Let's ask Deval Patrick, John Kerry and Ted Kennedy.
More BILL RICHARDSON
Some Background ...
Richardson Ends Presidential Bid [R20]
Richardson "Can Use a More Support from Gays" [R20]
"I'm the Most Pro-Gay Candidate" [R20]
Democrats Debate Homopohobia, Racism,HIV [R20]
Democratic Candidates Debate Gay Issues [R20]
The Advocate: Clinton vs Obama [R20]
Behind the Gay-Friendly Faces [Advocate + PDF]