Along with six other Democrats, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson brought his presidential campaign — or as many attendees saw it, his vice-presidential campaign — to the Yearly Kos convention in Chicago Saturday. After participating on a panel at the bloggers’ gathering, the candidates held individual breakout sessions to answer questions and speak to the smaller groups. Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s sessions filled up quickly, but I had no problem wandering into Richardson’s without even flashing the requisite wristband.
As fellow Colorado Confidential reporter Leslie Robinson noted, Richardson spoke sedately to the 40 or so people in the room who were scattered among dozens of empty chairs. It was a stark contrast to the top-tier candidates’ meetings where they were able to feed off of the excitement of the audience. That was made clear by the cheering sounds from other sessions filtering through the walls. Richardson’s session was peppered mostly with hard-core supporters and Westerners wanting to hear his take on issues, such as water, that are dear to them.
But Richardson spoke longer than the other candidates and as the other sessions ended, more people trickled in to listen. By the time Richardson took his last question an hour and a half into it, it was standing-room only.
Polling at only about six percent, Richardson will have a tough time overtaking Clinton, Obama or John Edwards. But with Western states becoming key territory for Democrats, Richardson’s could still see his vice-presidential aspirations come true.
Richardson photo by Leslie Robinson