Clinton-apostate Bill Richardson comes around, firmly, on Hillary 2016

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At a policy conference hosted by Andrew Cuomo last year, Bill Richardson didn't have anything to say about the prospect of a Hillary Clinton candidacy in 2016.

The former New Mexico governor was more expansive on "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

"Well, first, she doesn’t confide in me, so that’s number one," said Richardson, who became a conspicuous apostate during Clinton's 2008 run, when the energy secretary for Bill Clinton defected to the Obama camp.

"Number two, I think the odds of her running are about a 100 percent to zero. I think she will. She’s a formidable candidate."

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Richardson said she was "a good secretary of state" and "a good senator."

"She can now run as somebody that is out of the shadow of the president," he said. "The first woman president. She’s got activists all over the country with her."

Richardson said he didn't expect that Vice President Joe Biden would necessarily defer to Clinton though, despite polls showing Clinton with an overwhelmingly lead against all comers, including the vice president.

Richardson didn't mention Cuomo, who served with him in the Clinton administration, when Cuomo was housing secretary, but Republican strategist Mike Murphy did.

"For all her strengths, she’s in a bad position, because the media is going to put the superwoman costume on her," said Murphy. "And then she has to spend four years lifting up locomotives. And some Martin O’Malley or Cuomo, somebody pops up and gets the endorsement of the Boston Left-handed Millwrights, all of a sudden: 'Huge Defeat For Clinton.' You know, the narrative when you’re the invincible front-runner so early is bad."

The implication that Cuomo might be competing in a presidential race against Clinton is one of the big questions hanging over the 2016 field, and would probably constitute a Richardson-level betrayal, given that Bill Clinton was one of Cuomo's political mentors.

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