Richardson Endorses Obama, Race Speech Influenced the Choice

This statement from Bill Richardson just landed in my inbox and it's huge, coming at the right time -- when we all need to discuss the impact of race -- all of us. It is apparent that Obama's speech on race and reconciliation had an impact on his decision, which had to be difficult. The AP story is here.

New Mexico Governor and former Democratic presidential contender Bill Richardson could have easily endorsed Hillary Clinton -- he served as Secretary of Energy and UN Ambassador in the Clinton Administration and he is a long-time friend of the Clintons. His mainstream candidacy touted his impressive long resume of experience in federal and state government --  it makes both Clinton's and Obama's current bickering about who is more "3AM-ready" look ludicrous.
This is a tremendous loss for the Clinton team because they publicly worked so hard for Richardson's endorsement -- don't you remember Bill showing up to watch the Super Bowl with the governor? And what makes it even more stinging is that Richardson's statement is extremely enthusiastic, calling attention to bridging the racial divides and healing the schisms rather than politically capitalizing on them.

Richardson, who has been chatted up as a running mate in the MSM for both candidates, is slated to appear with Obama on Friday at an event in Portland, Oregon. Emphasis added is mine.
During the last year, I have shared with you my vision and hopes for this nation as we look to repair the damage of the last seven years. And you have shared your support, your ideas and your encouragement to my campaign. We have been through a lot together and that is why I wanted to tell you that, after careful and thoughtful deliberation, I have made a decision to endorse Barack Obama for President.
We are blessed to have two great American leaders and great Democrats running for President. My affection and admiration for Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton will never waver. It is time, however, for Democrats to stop fighting amongst ourselves and to prepare for the tough fight we will face against John McCain in the fall. The 1990's were a decade of peace and prosperity because of the competent and enlightened leadership of the Clinton administration, but it is now time for a new generation of leadership to lead America forward. Barack Obama will be a historic and a great President, who can bring us the change we so desperately need by bringing us together as a nation here at home and with our allies abroad.
Earlier this week, Senator Barack Obama gave an historic speech. that addressed the issue of race with the eloquence, sincerity, and optimism we have come to expect of him. He inspired us by reminding us of the awesome potential residing in our own responsibility. He asked us to rise above our racially divided past, and to seize the opportunity to carry forward the work of many patriots of all races, who struggled and died to bring us together.

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