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Looking to Play a Cheap Democratic Long Shot?

In his New York Times column the other day (gated), David Brooks wonders aloud, and compellingly, if perhaps New Mexico governor Bill Richardson might somehow rise above the glamorously noisy H. Clinton/B. Obama fray and become the Democratic candidate for President. Here’s what Brooks likes about Richardson:

He’s down to earth, accessible, funny, and smart.

He is “the most experienced person running for president. He served in Congress for 14 years. He was the energy secretary (energy’s kind of vital).”

He is a “successful two-term governor who was re-elected with 69 percent of the vote in New Mexico, a red state. Moreover, he’s a governor with foreign policy experience. He was U.N. ambassador. He worked in the State Department. He’s made a second career of negotiating on special assignments with dictators like Saddam, Castro and Kim Jong Il. He negotiated a truce in Sudan.”

He is the only Democratic candidate who is “completely invulnerable on the tax cut issue.”

And most of all, Brooks writes, “he’s not a senator. Since 1961, 40 senators have run for president and their record is 0-40. A senator may win this year, but you’d be foolish to assume it.”

So far, Brooks’s enthusiasm hasn’t caught on, at least among the betting public as represented at InTrade, which accepts wagers on political campaigns and other sports. Richardson is still extremely cheap: