Richardson Backs Obama, Cites 'Unique Moral Ability'

Candidates competed feverishly for NM governor's nod
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2008 1:21 PM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., left, smiles as New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson waves, Friday, March 21, 2008.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Bill Richardson endorsed Barack Obama today, saying the senator’s landmark race address this week “asked every American to see the reality and the pain of other Americans. He appealed to the best in us." The Democratic candidates eagerly sought the New Mexico governor’s nod, and Obama said he “couldn’t be more honored” to receive it, the Oregonian reports.

The candidate hailed his onetime rival’s foreign policy experience, noting the ex-UN ambassador’s willingness to meet “not only with the leaders we like, but with the leaders we don’t”—a not-too-subtle dig at Hillary Clinton and John McCain, who have criticized Obama’s diplomatic offerings. Richardson’s move today could help Obama among Hispanics as well as muting the reaction to Pastor-gate.