Saturday, May 12, 2007

More "Tonight Show" coverage: Albuquerque Tribune

Guv doesn't yuk it up on the `Tonight Show'

By Kate Nash, Albuquerque Tribune

SANTA FE — Maybe Gov. Bill Richardson thought he was on CNN instead of the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" because he sure didn't yuk it up like other guests on late-night comedy shows.

The governor spent eight minutes with Leno on Friday night, talking mostly about his background and foreign forays.

The second-term Democrat was second on the show, following a woman who showed off exotic animals including a pink bird with a spoon-shaped bill.

In his introduction, Leno said the governor had been nominated four times for the Nobel Peace Prize - "That's why he's following two toads, three birds and a cat," Leno quipped.

The tired-looking governor talked about growing up bilingual in Mexico, his love of baseball and his negotiations with Saddam Hussein.

The line that drew the most applause came when Leno asked Richardson about his standing in the polls. He had earlier said Richardson was "the most qualified presidential candidate you have never heard of."

"Is that a little discouraging when you go out there with your résumé‚ and everybody is kind of going crazy for sort of the rock stars?" he asked.

Richardson said people won't vote based on the hype. "They're not going to make a decision on who the biggest rock star is and who raised the most money."

"You don't think so?" Leno asked, prompting laughter from the audience.

Richardson got some laughs when talking about how he got to the recent Democratic candidate debate in South Carolina. Leno had said the Democrats all flew to the event in private jets.

Richardson interrupted, saying he flew commercial. "I took - I think it was Southwest, because I couldn't fit in the seat."

The dieting governor also drew heavy applause, but not laughs, with a line about his approach to foreign policy.

"I believe, Jay, that we don't practice diplomacy enough. We ought to talk to our enemies. We ought to practice diplomacy and mediation and negotiation before we send our troops."

Richardson today speaks to the Service Employees International Union in Los Angeles.

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