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What Makes a Good VP? Ask Bill Richardson.


New Mexico's Gov. Bill Richardson, pictured here on May 29, 2008, has some thoughts on what a potential VP should have on his resume. (Associated Press)

By Keith B. Richburg
NEW YORK -- One of the rules of being picked as a vice-presidential running mate is to never, ever openly express an interest in the job. And New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson knows the rule well, avoiding a direct answer when asked here, at a Council on Foreign Relations luncheon, if he'd like to be on the Democratic ticket with Sen. Barack Obama.

"This is a decision that Sen. Obama needs to make," Richardson said. "And you don't need to make it now. Otherwise, what are we going to do at the Democratic convention in August?" At another point, Richardson said he would be "honored" to be asked, but said he also liked being a governor.

But the rule about showing disinterest does not stop one from offering opinions. And when asked what qualities he thought Obama should be looking for in a good running mate, Richardson offered a purely objective analysis of an ideal hypothetical running mate that sounded a lot like -- Bill Richardson.

"Regional balance," Richardson said should be a top consideration, and he pointed out that the recent Democratic presidential coalitions have consisted of the East Coast, the West Coast, and not much in between. "We've ignored the Southwest," he continued. "We've ignored the Southwest Hispanic vote."

He added, "If John Kerry had won New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado -- states he lost by two or three percent -- he'd be president today."

Sounds a lot like an argument for an Obama-Richardson ticket.

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 18, 2008; 3:56 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama  
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