Lauer: Can Hillary Win Nomination Without It Being Seen as 'Stolen'?

While Chris Matthews was waxing so rhapsodic about Barack Obama over on MSNBC this morning that he made Mika Brzezinksi ask if the Hardball host had endorsed him, Matt Lauer was doing his bit on NBC, wondering whether Hillary would be seen as having stolen the nomination if she managed to get it.

The Today co-anchor interviewed Bill Richardson, who's gotten more media mileage out of his Obama endorsement than a Prius coasting down a New Mexico mountain. Lauer's suggestion came toward the end of the segment.

MATT LAUER: Let's talk about political reality. Right now as we stand, with the delegate count, the popular vote count, the state-by-state count. Do you see any scenario under which Senator Clinton could win this nomination where it will not appear to large numbers of Democrats as if the nomination were stolen?

Richardson wouldn't bite on Lauer's controversial suggestion.

BILL RICHARDSON: Well, look, anything is possible in a campaign, but it's very difficult for her to accumulate more delegates than Senator Obama. It's 131 ahead, Obama's won 30 states, he's gonna do well in the remaining states. The delegate count, the popular vote is in favor of Senator Obama.

And my point here is instead of having this bitter, contested effort all the way to August, that we come forth and decide on a nominee based on the reality that the Democrats need to be unified against a very strong John McCain.

Matt closed with what sounded like a fond wish that Hillary would hear Richardson's message of coalescing around Obama.

LAUER: Alright. We'll have to see if Senator Clinton's campaign was listening to you, Governor. But anyway, I appreciate your time this morning.
Campaigns & Elections 2008 Presidential Liberals & Democrats NBC Today Video Bill Richardson