Gov. Richardson to Hold Two Fundraisers for Sen. Clinton

By Lindsey Ellerson

Jul 30, 2008 1:27pm

ABC News’ Sarah Amos Reports: Governor Bill Richardson is doing his part to unite the Democratic party today, announcing he will hold two August fundraisers for Senator Hillary Clinton in his home state of New Mexico.

A press release sent out by the Governor’s office Wednesday states Richardson, a former candidate for the Democratic nomination himself, will hold two invitation-only events on August 17th.  One event in Santa Fe will be hosted by Dave Contarino, Governor Richardson’s former campaign manager and long time strategist.  The second event will take place in Albuquerque and will be hosted by a well-known New Mexico businessman.  Clinton will be in attendance for both fundraisers.

The Governor, who is "an ardent supporter of Senator Obama," according to the press release, will preside over both events with his Lt. Governor, Diane Denish.

"Senator Clinton is grateful for Governor Richardson’s and Senator Obama’s efforts to assist with retiring her campaign debt and she is looking forward to continuing to campaign for Senator Obama and help ensure victory for Democrats throughout the country this fall," said Clinton spokeswoman Kathleen Strand in the release.

And of course, to prove just how unified they all are, Obama spokesman Bill Burton was also quoted in the press release stating, "Governor Richardson’s efforts reinforce Senator Obama’s commitment to unifying the Democratic Party and assisting Senator Clinton’s effort to retire her campaign debt."

Richardson has often been one of the strongest voices to call for party unity among Democrats.  In fact, while addressing the Democratic Leadership Council in Chicago last month, Richardson promised he would be involved in helping to retire Clinton’s debt.  A promise he is now making good on.   

And while this show of support is something all Democrats welcome, the hard feelings between Richardson and the Clintons still lingers in many political minds. 

A cloud of endorsement speculation surrounded Richardson after he ended his own presidential bid.   Richardson was heavily wooed by both sides, with former President Bill Clinton even flying to New Mexico to watch the Super Bowl with the Governor

In the end Richardson chose to endorse Obama.  The decision not only ruptured his relationship with the Clintons, but lead to James Carville calling him "judas" in interviews. Perhaps these fundraisers will be the first step towards a reconciliation. 

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