Richardson talks to the Politico:
Richardson chalks the rumors up to his campaign style.
“There’s nothing I can do except just basically continue,” he said. “I’ve never touched anybody inappropriately. No one’s accused me of it. I shake hands a lot. I hold a handshaking record. I believe in the physical side of campaigning. I guess I hug people sometimes. That’s me. That’s my character.”
Ah, that’s it. Handshakes. It’s just a big misunderstanding about how enthusiastic he is about shaking hands.
(Hat tip, Mickey Kaus.)
Also, this section raises the question of how much Richardson really wants the job:
These Democrats, who declined to be quoted by name discussing a sensitive personal matter, said that Richardson withdrew from consideration by Kerry before undergoing a final round of vetting. The final round would have required delivering financial documents and other information to Johnson and his team for an intensive examination of a candidate’s fitness for high office. Among those who did go through such a process were then-Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John Edwards (D-N.C.), then-House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.), then-Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark.
“He wanted to be considered because he wanted his name out there,” a senior Democrat close to the vice presidential process said of Richardson. “And once his name was out there, he withdrew. So there was never a full vetting.”
This Democrat said Richardson’s citing of the 2004 vetting process as a rejoinder to questions about his personal behavior is “a crazy thing to go around saying.”
“It’s an honor just to be nominated, thank you, thank you…”