Robert Novak

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Mexican-American who could pin down the Latino vote, is back as a leading vice-presidential prospect if Sen. Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic presidential nomination next year.

Richardson's poor early showing as a candidate for the presidential nomination, particularly in debates, had turned off speculation about him for second place on the ticket. But his clever TV ads have pushed him to the top of the second tier of Democratic presidential candidates and back into the vice-presidential swim.

A footnote: There is considerable opposition inside the Clinton camp to Sen. Barack Obama as her running mate. Skeptics consider it too risky to pair the first woman for president with the first African-American for vice president.


The Democratic candidacy of former basketball coach Dick Versace endangers 68 years of Republican control of the Peoria-based congressional seat in Illinois left vacant by the retirement of Republican Rep. Ray LaHood.

Versace was a highly popular coach of Bradley University in Peoria before going to coach in the NBA. LaHood is in his seventh term in Congress after succeeding his boss, then House Minority Leader Bob Michel.

A footnote: A Democratic takeover is even more likely for another Illinois seat: a Joliet-based district where Republican Rep. Jerry Weller is retiring under a cloud of scandal.

Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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