Bill Richardson withdraws name

Bill Richardson will not be the new Secretary of Commerce.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has withdrawn his name from consideration as commerce secretary for President-elect Barack Obama, citing an ongoing investigation about business dealings in his state.

Richardson, 61, who competed unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination, was secretary of energy and U.N. ambassador during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and also the first high-profile Latino named to Obama’s Cabinet.

But a grand jury in New Mexico is currently looking into charges of “pay-to-play” in the awarding of a state contract to a company that contributed to Richardson.

The importance of the inquiry was apparently dismissed when Richardson was first nominated. But it may have taken on more weight in light of the “pay-to-play” allegations involving Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

This is a big deal only bcause Richardson would have been excellent as Commerce Secretary, and we could use a good one right now. I’m sure Obama will find a suitable replacement.

Th media will have fun wih this for a day, as this offers yet another distraction, but it’s better to take the hit now.

  

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?

Huh?

News outlets are reporting that Hillary Clinton is under consideration for Secretary of State. I guess Obama wasn’t kidding when he said he was considering the Lincoln model of a team of rivals.

There’s increasing chatter in political circles that the Obama camp is not overly happy with the usual suspects for secretary of state these days and that the field might be expanding somewhat beyond Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.), Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) and maybe former Democratic senator Sam Nunn of Georgia.

There’s talk, indeed, that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) may now be under consideration for the post. Her office referred any questions to the Obama transition; Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to comment.

I’m a little puzzled by this one. I think she would be much better suited for a career in the Senate where she could work on issues like health care. She’s certainly up to the job, and she would have Bill Clinton as a resource, but it seems like there are many other options. On the other hand, it shows that he’s willing to bring in some of the best people in the party, and that he’s not afraid to have big personalities in his administration.

  

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