LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Democrats will eventually unite once the hard-fought presidential nomination battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is resolved but that process may take time, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said on Monday. 

billrichardson.jpg“There’s going to be a need for healing,” Richardson, a former White House hopeful who is backing Obama. 

Richardson, who had served as energy secretary and ambassador to the United Nations in former President Bill Clinton’s administration, remained on the fence for several weeks before deciding to support Obama, an Illinois senator, two months ago.

After announcing his decision, he talked of a tense phone call with Hillary Clinton when he broke the news to her. James Carville, a longtime adviser to Bill Clinton, called Richardson a “Judas.” 

Obama, who now holds a lead in delegates over Clinton that probably is insurmountable, was on the campaign trail with Richardson on Monday. The governor introduced the Illinois senator at a Memorial Day veterans forum in Las Cruces, New Mexico.