Richardson backers await announcement

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Many Democratic Party activists who want Gov. Bill Richardson to run for president are anxiously awaiting an expected announcement that should come sometime in the next 12 days.

Others from around the nation are already organizing with the expectation that Richardson will seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

Richardson has said he’ll announce his decision before the Legislature convenes on Jan. 16.

The blogger A Rational Animal wrote Wednesday that he asked Richardson whether he would run for president at the inaugural party in Santa Fe earlier this week.

“I got a response that, to my mind, says that it is indeed a done deal,” the blogger wrote. “And A Rational Animal is now officially joining the ‘Draft Richardson’ movement.”

That sentiment exists on sites across the Internet. Members of the Bill Richardson for President Yahoo! Group have been discussing for weeks their thoughts on why Richardson is the best candidate for their home states.

Tyson, who runs the site Florida for Richardson, wrote that the governor is the right candidate in part because his Hispanic heritage would resonate with South Florida voters and also because he is a moderate candidate, which would play well in the centrist state. Kristen, who runs the site Maryland for Richardson, supports Richardson in part because she likes his stances on energy, stem-cell research and education.

Richard, who runs the site South Carolina for Richardson, wrote recently that other candidates won’t measure up against Richardson’s diverse experience as a congressman, energy secretary, U.N. ambassador and governor.

“It is now just a matter of time before more and more people begin talking about his record,” Richard wrote. “In today’s world stage the nation longs for a respected, established diplomat. The nation longs for someone with the drive of Edwards and Obama but with the street credit to back up the talk. That is Richardson.”

A group of 70 people in Nevada recently urged Richardson to run for president and formed the Draft Richardson group. Theresa Navarro, a Democratic Party activist and real estate agent from Reno, was among them.

She told me Richardson is the best choice for president in 2008.

“He’s very good on foreign policy and he’s a border governor,” she said. “I think he’s what our country is looking for.”

Members of the Yahoo! Group are also discussing a possible meeting in the next few months, either in person or via the Internet, to get organized and brainstorm ways to increase Richardson’s name recognition across the nation.

Group member Bentley Davis from Maine wrote to other members about a discussion about Richardson during a visit with family members over the holidays.

“Sitting around the holiday table with my extended family, many did not know of him or his impressive résumé,” Davis wrote. “Our job, as supporters, is to let people know how terrific he is – by blogging, by writing letters, by telling our friends, families, and coworkers. Once more people know, I am sure he will garner the support he needs.”

All Richardson’s supporters need now is for him to officially jump into the race. Navarro said she would work for Richardson, if she was asked, and she’s anxious to learn whether Richardson will run.

“I’m glad that he’ll announce a decision soon,” she said.

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