His Staff Hates It, but Not His Horse

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JOE CIARDIELLO FOR USN&WRFormer Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee isn't the only fatty who hit the treadmill and dieted—he lost 110 pounds and several chins—to get ready for a 2008 presidential run. Now we can add New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to the list. "When I made the decision to run for president, I realized it was time to get serious about losing weight and exercising more," he says. "The campaign lifestyle can wreak havoc on your diet and your waistline." Once a lean kid athlete, Richardson chubbed up during his days as a lawmaker and cabinet official in Washington and as United Nations ambassador in New York, where he was known for his big appetite, long cigars, and sips of wine. But that was 30 pounds ago.

After trying virtually every fad diet, he's now on a doctor-prescribed, nutritionist-supervised diet familiar to thousands: He replaces two meals with special shakes, actually eating only one real meal a day. He snacks on veggies or an energy bar. And he works out with a trainer. "He loves to eat," says spokesman Pahl Shipley, "so it has been difficult." Richardson says he still wants to shed 10 pounds, but his staff isn't so happy with that news. "I've got even more energy and stamina," he says, but he also admits, "I get cranky." Still, says Richardson, the only Hispanic in the 2008 race, "I'll tell you what. My horse is happy about my diet."