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N.M. Gov. Not Lobbying for Veep Slot

By Ed O'Keefe
Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) would not say on Monday if he has been contacted by Barack Obama's presidential campaign as part of the vice presidential search process, nor would he say if he's provided any information as part of the search.

"I'm not commenting on that," Richardson said. "I don't talk about my contacts with the Obama campaign on that issue."

"I'm not lobbying for anything. But obviously, I would do anything I could for him," Richardson added later.

Richardson said in mid-June that the Democratic ticket should have "regional balance" and that Democrats have ignored the southwest in the past. "We've ignored the Southwest Hispanic vote." The governor's comments suggested to observers that he was openly campaigning for the job. Monday he assured an interviewer that "I'm happy being a governor."

As Obama and John McCain made direct appeals to Latino voters at the National Conference of La Raza this week -- having already spoken NALEO and LULAC -- Richardson, the nation's only Hispanic governor, says he likes what he's heard.

"I like both emphasizing the need for comprehensive immigration, but I obviously like Obama's message better," he said.

The governor believes Latinos will be crucial in four must-win states this November: Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico. Those states have "significantly high Hispanic populations," and in some cases have "trended Democratic" thanks in part to an influx of Latinos.

"I think the key with Hispanics and Obama is getting Hispanics to know him, to get to know him personally, to get to see him, and see that he has some very unifying policies for all Americans. That he's bipartisan, and he's solution-oriented," Richardson said.

"I think Hispanic voters, just like mainstream voters, want to get things done."

The governor spoke on Monday for an interview to air on The Post Politics Program, which airs Thursdays on XM Satellite Radio's POTUS '08 channel.

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 14, 2008; 3:57 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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