Richardson’s experience might be enough to earn vice presidential bid

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson on Thursday ended his long-shot run for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, but he remained a class act to the end.

In a heartfelt message to his supporters, Richardson bowed out in style by lauding his fellow candidates and calling for party unity. It was the kind of rhetoric that’s sure to remind some political observers that the experienced Richardson wouldn’t be a bad selection as a vice presidential running mate.

“It has been an exhilarating and humbling year — an experience I will treasure and never forget,” Richardson wrote. “The voters of this country — and particularly of the early primary states where I focused my campaign — tested me in ways I have never been tested. We had 200 debates! Actually, it was only 24 but it sure felt like 200. And, I believe we made our case to the people.

“We made our case for change — guided by an experienced hand.”

During his campaign Richardson touted his foreign policy experience, which isn’t the strong suit of either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

Is Richardson’s experience enough to make him a viable vice presidential choice?

COFFIN’S RECOUNT: On second thought, veteran state Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Clark County, endorses Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy. Coffin initially came out in support of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, who has folded his campaign tent.

That brings to just under 50,000 the number of current and former Nevada elected officials who have endorsed Clinton’s candidacy with the Jan. 19 Democratic caucuses fast approaching. Perhaps I’m exaggerating, but if all those people who endorsed Clinton turn out for the caucus, she should do all right.

We know from her Thursday appointment schedule that Clinton has great taste in Mexican food. She appeared at Lindo Michoacan Restaurant at 2655 E. Desert Inn Road for a discussion of the housing foreclosure crisis, a topic that’s sure to give even those with strong stomachs indigestion.

PRABHU’S ALLIES: Dr. R.D. Prabhu, whose use of J-1 visa doctors has been criticized, obviously has plenty of allies who have practiced under his supervision. Although his El Dorado Medical Center, which employs nine J-1 doctors, has been accused of “indentured servitude,” he argues that the physicians affiliated with his company annually earn a minimum of $120,000, with some generating as much as $200,000.

They work long hours, but he argues that they fulfill their contract to medically treat underserved areas of the community.

Prabhu’s former J-1 visa waiver physicians aren’t shy about singing his praises. (The waiver applies to foreign-born physicians who train in the United States and are allowed to remain here as long as they agree to spend part of their working life in areas of need.) One of those doctors is Uma G. Iyer of the Community Cancer Center of North Florida in Gainesville. She calls herself a friend of the doctor.

“I was employed by Dr. Prabhu as a primary care service provider in Las Vegas, Nevada, for three years between Oct. 2000 and Oct. 2003,” she writes. “During this period of time, my job requirements included spending forty hours a week at El Dorado Medical Center which is situated in North Las Vegas in a physician underserved area. I did not encounter any problems or hindrances in completing my J-1 visa waiver requirements in this setting. We were given the premises and office support staff to work in a timely and professional fashion. My contract was fully honored at all times by Dr. Prabhu and facilitated fulfilling my visa waiver obligations.”

Prabhu has compiled a stack of similar endorsements.

ON THE BOULEVARD: I see where former Boulder City Mayor Bob Ferraro has joined the Ferraro Group as a consultant. The government relations and public affairs company is owned by his son, Greg Ferraro.

After 31 years in public office, there’s no doubt the father has sufficient experience to perform the duties of consultant. But I have to wonder how the job interview went. Did Bob have to submit a resume? Did Greg ask for references?

BOULEVARD II: Pogo’s Tavern is an ancient hole-in-the-wall on Decatur Boulevard, but its Friday night jazz band has gone high-tech. Band boss Dick Fazio tells me his crew now has three videos available on YouTube. Punch in “Pogo’s jazz” and the band will play on online.

Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? E-mail comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295.

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