Richardson to Be Nominated Tomorrow as Commerce Secretary
Updated 3:25 p.m.
By Chris Cillizza
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson will be formally nominated by President-elect Barack Obama as commerce secretary tomorrow in Chicago, according to a transition official familiar with the decision.
Obama will unveil Richardson as the nominee at a news conference they will both attend tomorrow in Chicago, cementing a pick that had been expected for weeks. Richardson was one of three prominent elected officials -- Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Kerry were the others -- under consideration for the secretary of state position that eventually went to the former first lady.
With his first choice of Cabinet positions taken, Richardson quickly emerged as a front-runner to head the Commerce Department -- a post that will build on an already lengthy Washington resume that includes service as secretary of energy, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and nearly two decades as a congressman.
Following an abbreviated run for president earlier this year, Richardson was courted by Clinton and Obama, eventually choosing to support the latter in what was seen as something of a coup for the senator from Illinois, given Richardson's long ties to the Clintons.
Richardson made no secret of his desire to return to Washington following Obama's election, as he was entering his seventh year as governor of the Land of Enchantment. Should Richardson be confirmed as commerce secretary, New Mexico Lt. Gov. Diane Denish (D), who already planned to run for the 2010 open governor's seat, will take over as the state's chief executive for the next two years.
Posted at 3:08 PM ET on Dec 2, 2008
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