Richardson Plays Ball -- Just Not With Clinton

The Colorado Rockies' first home game yesterday attracted a host of local politicos -- Governor Bill Ritter, Denver mayor John Hickenlooper (who had to leave before the first pitch for a police academy graduation ceremony), Representative (and U.S. Senate candidate) Mark Udall. But a national star was in the house, too: New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, in Denver to take in some baseball and, with any luck, some cash at a party later that evening designed to help retire the campaign debt Richardson had picked up during his run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Richardson withdrew from the race in January, and two weeks ago, he endorsed Barack Obama, a move that Hillary Clinton-consultant James Carville called "an act of betrayal," since Richardson had served in Bill Clinton's cabinet -- and even watched the Super Bowl with the former president two months ago. (Although not going as far as Carville, Bill Clinton -- the $109 million man -- was still complaining about Richardson at a California appearance a few days ago.)

Sitting in section 125 at Coors Field on Friday, though, Richardson didn't look one bit like the Judas that Carville had accused him of being. He looked tanned, rested, bearded (having grown one after he got out of the race) and ready to take on all comers.

Too bad he isn't sticking around town until Monday, when Carville will be here to do one of his icky opposites-attract schticks with wife Mary Matalin.

It would be much more fun to have Carville face off against Richardson -- beard or no beard. -- Patricia Calhoun