Friday, June 29, 2007

Why is This Man Smiling? Gov. Bill Richardson Gets in the Game

WASHINGTON, DC – The biggest smile on Tavis Smiley's stage didn't come from the host or Democratic frontrunner Sen. Hillary Clinton. No. The biggest glow came from Gov. Bill Richardson, whose antiwar platform – backed by his foreign policy experience – seems to be resonating with at least a few likely Democratic voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and California. Although he's barely into double digits, Richardson's hockey stick-like trend in Iowa and New Hampshire runs counter to both Obama and Edwards – and in Iowa to Clinton as well. And, more interestingly to all three in California.

Of course Gov. Richardson's supporters need to be realistic, his national numbers are flatter than a Waffle House pancake. But, Hillary Clinton's momentum in racking up endorsements is not translating into general election support in bellweather states such as Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, and New Mexico. If Clinton can't pull ahead in the upper Red States, she can't win a general election. For many Democrats, Clinton's bankability in the general election is becoming a very real concern.

If Dems become disenchanted with the Senator's prospects for winning the general election, and Al Gore doesn't step in, its likely that Gov. Richardson may emerge as a bona fide contender. And, as the Chicago Tribune reports, longshots haven't always lost.

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