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A Whole Lotta Shaking

A Whole Lotta ShakingTufts graduate Bill Richardson set a new Guinness Record for handshaking, while on the campaign trail in New Mexico.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [09.16.02] With seven weeks remaining before New Mexico's gubernatorial elections, Tufts graduate Bill Richardson made news - and Guinness Book of World Records history -- while campaigning in Albuquerque this weekend. Over an eight-hour period, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations shattered President Theodore Roosevelt's record for the most handshakes by a politician.

"Richardson's new mark of 13,392 for an eight-hour period, with a Guinness World Records official standing by, went well beyond the Roosevelt record of 8,513 handshakes set at the White House," reported the Los Angeles Times. "Richardson divided his handshaking between the New Mexico State Fair and a tailgate party outside the University of New Mexico."

According to the newspaper, the candidate sunk his hand into ice after breaking the 1907 record, which Roosevelt set while greeting visitors to the White House. "It's stiff and it's sore," Richardson -- who holds undergraduate and Fletcher degrees from Tufts -- told the Associated Press following the events.

But this isn't the first time Richardson has set a record for "pressing the flesh." While campaigning for Congress, he set another Guinness Book record for the most handshakes in one day.

Ahead in the polls by 14 points, the political veteran remains highly favored to win election as New Mexico's governor in November, which would add to his already impressive career in office.

A four-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, the Tufts graduate served in Congress for more than 14 years and was the first Hispanic to hold two Cabinet positions - U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. and Secretary of Energy.

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