Bill Richardson to be named Commerce Secretary – creating perhaps more cabinet friction?

December 2, 2008

WASHINGTON (ChattahBox) — President-elect Barack Obama plans to nominate New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to be secretary of commerce, according to Democratic sources. It will be the second southwestern governor Obama has tapped this week for a Cabinet position, following Monday’s announcement of Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as his nominee for secretary of homeland security.

The former Democratic presidential candidate’s name has been bandied about as the next head of Commerce for some time. Richardson sought the Democratic presidential nomination but dropped out of the race after a poor showing in the January 8 New Hampshire primary.

Richardson has served as a U.N. ambassador and as energy secretary in the Clinton administration.  One of the most prominent Hispanic politicians in the nation, Richardson withdrew from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination January 10.  In April, Richardson said he was “very close to endorsing” Clinton but decided not to after the campaign became negative. His endorsement was viewed as an act of betrayal by some longtime Clinton supporters. Declaring that Obama is an “extraordinary American,” Richardson endorsed Obama to be the Democratic nominee for president March 21. Hillary Clinton was named this week as Obama’s pick for another Cabinet post: secretary of state.

If Richardson steps down as chief executive of New Mexico, Democratic Lt. Gov. Diane Denish takes over. She was Richardson’s running mate in the 2002 and 2006 gubernatorial elections.


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