Posted: October 5, 2007 6:30 PM
Gov. Richardson Keeps Eyes on the Presidential Prize
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is closing the door on speculation that he might run for Senate, following the retirement announcement of Sen. Pete
After Domenici, 75, announced his plans to leave the Senate due to his battle with a degenerative brain disease on Thursday, the Washington Post reported that Democrats were already circling Richardson as a likely person to pick up the Republican-held seat.
But Richardson squashed the rumors within 24 hours saying he is not giving up his presidential hopes. “I am not running for the Senate. I’m running for president,” Richardson told the Associated Press.
His campaign has also stated Richardson will not run for Senate even if he does not win the nomination. Instead, he will push on and, apparently, continue to bank his campaign on tearing down his Democratic opponents’ stances on the war.
“Senator [Barack] Obama and John Edwards are unwilling to commit to removing all of the troops by the end of their first term — that’s 5 years from now. I am opposed to 5 years or 9 years or any more years of our troops dying. My colleagues are wrong,” Richardson said during a speech on Thursday.
Richardson has good reason to put Hillary Clinton, Obama and Edwards in his crosshairs as he is battling to break into their ranks. He posted a $5.2 million take for third quarter funding raising this week, down from $7 million last quarter, but impressive enough to keep his drive to become a top-tier candidate alive.
Richardson did top a different list this week. If it wasn’t already apparent from his ever growing portfolio of campaign ads, he is the top dog of Democratic ad spending, with $2 million in television advertising in Iowa and New Hampshire.
And on a more personal note, in an interview with Charles Gibson, Richardson recalled his young days playing baseball at a boarding school in Massachusetts. He said he was good enough to get some recruiting attention.
“I wanted more than anything to sign a Minor League Baseball contract,” Richardson said, but his father wanted him to go to college.
But apparently Richardson has had some confused memories of his baseball prospects. For nearly four decades he publicly stated he was drafted by the Kansas City Athletics as a pitcher when he was younger. In 2005, after a New Mexico paper investigated and found no evidence of that, Richardson said “After being notified of the situation (by Journal reporter Toby Smith) and after researching the matter … I came to the conclusion that I was not drafted by the A’s.”
But he still likes baseball and took a swing at the Fields of Dreams in Iowa.
Richardson is in Atlanta Friday for campaign appearances and will be in Iowa over the weekend.