Richardson May Endorse By The End Of This Week

This is the kind of stuff that makes you go all tense inside.  Governor Richardson’s presidential campaign never managed to crawl out of the basement except for a few brief moments in the preseason where he was starting to show promise.  Unfortunately for him, hints of promising poll numbers never blossomed into real traction, and Richardson was soon out of the race.

Like Dodd and Biden before him, Richardson has not endorsed anyone up to this point, however, with Super Tuesday looming, the top two candidates in the hunt for the Democratic nomination are courting his endorsement heavily.

According to The Fix’s Chris Cillizza’s calculus, Richardson’s endorsement would fall under the Symbolic class; the most important class.  This because of his wide popularity in a significant region of the country as well as his appeal to a very important demographic for Democrats, Latinos.  So it’s no wonder both of the top two candidates seeking the grand prize in this contest are going after Richardson.

For Hillary, it’s a matter of protecting what she has and engaging in damage control needed in the wake of the Kennedy endorsements.  Mrs. Clinton has enjoyed until now strong support among the Latino community, but that was threatened by Senator Kennedy who has a long history with Latinos, and in fact helped Richardson get elected.  If she can manage to grab Richardson’s endorsement, this could help counteract the hard campaigning Kennedy has promised to do.

For Obama, it’s about cutting deeper into the Latino demographic, but also, it’s about strengthening his overall narrative, that people of all stripes are coming together under his message of change.  Further it would provide yet another boost prior to Super Tuesday that could help turn the tide against the Clintons at a faster rate.  I don’t know how much of this was by plan, and how much by coincidence, but the Obama campaign is loading this week up with high end endorsements which is definitely a positive.  Richardson rounding out the week by tossing his hat in Obama’s ring would be a huge win.

And we just might know the answer by Friday.

Apparently he’s been struggling with the decision, and he still doesn’t know if he will endorse at all, but he says whether he does or not, we’ll know by the end of the week.  He’s also said he will make a decision based up on his “gut” and not on “past ties” or “statistics”.

Thus, it is nearly impossible to predict which way he is going to go, especially without any staffers leaking the direction he’s leaning.  I will say that I of course hope his endorsement goes to Obama, and I will add that if he’s making this a gut decision, that bodes well for Obama who has long been the heart candidate to Hillary being the head candidate.  On the other hand, if he’s not really testing his gut and instead trying to negotiate a sweet cabinet position or a spot on the ticket, Clinton may just have the edge.

In any case, this is big, and it’s going to be a squeamish few days while we wait to see who he decides to stand by.

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