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Richardson Watch

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    Keeping tabs on New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as he seeks the Democratic nomination for president ...
    BIG BUZZ: Richardson's trip to North Korea this week to recover the remains of American servicemen from the Korean War is getting major media attention— the most of any single Richardson happening since he announced his candidacy in late January.
    Newspapers and TV networks from coast to coast have carried news of the trip— along with other media outlets in South Korea, England, France and China. When Richardson last traveled to North Korea, he ended his trip with a news conference in Tokyo where about 100 media members showed up.— J.J. and L.L.
    THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE SNOWY: Ari Richter, opinion editor for the Concord Monitor, gave his impressions of Richardson in a Sunday column following the governor's trip to New Hampshire last week.
    On his fundraising: "Richardson raised $6 million, which is either a surprisingly strong showing for a sitting governor who was busy working with his legislature, or, um, chicken feed."
    On his down-to-earth style: "He is disarmingly funny, he doesn't take himself too seriously, and he wins, hands down, the who-would-you-most-like-to-go-have-a-beer-with primary."
    On his attempts at humor: "Sometimes Richardson lets his love of a joke or even a trivial anecdote take him too far from where he was going."
    On his chances in New Hampshire: " ... if he can tighten his act just a little, no one should count him out."
    The Monitor also popped the above photo of the governor.— J.J.
    NEW GUY: Richardson's campaign staff grew by one Monday as he announced he was bringing on veteran Democratic pollster and strategist Paul Maslin. Maslin, a partner in Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates, which has offices in Wisconsin and California, will serve as a senior adviser for his campaign. It's the same role Maslin played for Howard Dean in 2004.— L.L.
    AND THEY'RE BOTH NAMED BILL: Karlos Schmieder, a SWOPblogger, knocks Richardson for presiding over a state with terrible child health and welfare statistics and gives his "top 5 reasons why Bill Richardson is the Hispanic Bill Clinton." They go like this: "5. He's chunky and he likes to eat. 4. He gets energy from campaigning, mingling ... you know, politics. 3. Similar politics. 2. He likes cigars. And the number one reason Bill Richardson is the Hispanic Bill Clinton ... he comes from a poor South(west)ern state."— L.L.
    KNOW YOUR HURRICANES: Nathan in New Orleans interviewed Richardson about rebuilding the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. "Overall, I give Richardson a B/B-," he writes. "He seemed like he was definitely concerned about New Orleans and had a passing knowledge of the issue, but hadn't fully thought it through the way a presidential candidate should." Richardson's low B grade puts him at a better place in the class than Barack Obama, John Edwards and Christopher Dodd on Katrina knowledge, according to Nathan.— L.L.
   
Journal Staff Writers Leslie Linthicum and Jeff Jones