WASHINGTON--Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) picks up a powerful endorsement on Friday morning, from New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a former rival for the 2008 Democratic nomination.
Richardson, the only Hispanic governor in the nation, sent an e-mail to his supporters announcing his decision.
Richardson's endorsement is influential and important because: (this list can grow)
1. As the primary has become polarized--results from states already voting show blacks voting for Obama and Hispanics for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)--Richardson sends a message to Hispanics.
2. This takes attention away from the Rev. Wright story.
3. He has an appeal to independents.
4. Richardson is a former member of the Bill Clinton administration heavily wooed by the Clintons.
5. He is a western state governor.
6. He is a superdelegate.
The governor will join Obama at a rally in Portland, Oregon.