The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008



Richardson to Be Nominated Tomorrow as Commerce Secretary

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson at an Obama campaign event in August, 2008. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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  | Category:  Cabinet
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Just what we DON'T need: another wimpy Mr. Amnesty. Deport this clown.

Posted by: birvin9999 | December 2, 2008 8:21 PM

What a shame. He snuck documents out of Washington that were classified and confidential as Sec. of Energy. He is a womanizer; his female Lt. Gov. asking him to keep his hands to himself and off her & he's physically rough with children. The ego and what he has done to New Mexico's economy & education department has made NM 48th out of 50 near the bottom. Well, Obama CHANGE? Not this kind.

Posted by: crrobin | December 2, 2008 7:43 PM

Richardson favors amnesty and drivers licenses for illegal aliens, giving him much in common with President Bush and John McCain. Since he favors importing cheap labor at the expense of taxpayers, isn't this like smuggling in contraband for the benefit of the few and the exploitation of the many?

Posted by: carolinemiranda | December 2, 2008 6:44 PM

Why isn't Obama selecting more DEMOCRATS from States with Republican Governors? Take Sen. Boxer or Feinstein, PLEASE!!!

Posted by: JakeD | December 2, 2008 6:27 PM

Richardson is a great choice. But he also would have been a great Secretary of State. He's a true man of peace.

Posted by: sunnyday1 | December 2, 2008 6:23 PM

New "Change" Same as the Old.

Posted by: JakeD | December 2, 2008 6:14 PM

Chasmosaur1: being an experienced politician does not qualify you to run a government agency. Richardson was given Commerce only because he's a player in the party and wants to remain so. He was disaster as Energy Secretary because he no real background on the issues. There are better candidates that big party names.

Posted by: loux23 | December 2, 2008 6:03 PM

Bill Richardson may be smart but his ego is out of control.

Posted by: BernieO | December 2, 2008 5:41 PM

A little-known fact about Richardson (not widely reported in the press). A few years ago a New Mexican was taken hostage while working in Darfur. Gov. Richardson flew to Darfur to speak to the warlords who held him. He never was granted permission to speak to the warlords directly, but negotiated through intermediaries. Gov. Richardson made it clear that he was not geting back on board a plane until the New Mexican citizen was released and in his custody. Within a few days the hostage was released to the Governor and they returned safely to New Mexico.
This was no grandstanding ploy by our governor - the press didn't even find out about it until right before he left. Richardson was just trying to use his contacts and skills to help out a constituent.
It sure is nice, as a New Mexican, to be able to travel the world and know that if I get taken hostage or wrongly imprisoned, my governor will travel to the place of my capture to secure my release. He's a good man.

Posted by: NMModerate1 | December 2, 2008 5:31 PM

Richardson is an excellent choice

Posted by: mrshep | December 2, 2008 5:16 PM

Any room with Richardson in it is a place to be - he's not only brilliant, but he's remarkably friendly.
Besides following the main and secondary discussions, he'll be on the watch for who most needs the relief of some real heartfelt laughter.
I think this is one of his most charming, and sometimes disarming gifts.
He was my pick for most every office along the way, until Obama outran him...

Posted by: thanksforfish | December 2, 2008 5:07 PM

Great choice. BR is a fantastic ambassador for the US and will sell our brand like hell.

Posted by: Jerkstore | December 2, 2008 5:03 PM

This is a brilliant move. This is a man who has successfully negotiated with terrorist. A guy who knows what is going on South of the border. This is the guy we need to negotiate some smarter trade deals.

Posted by: ne_voice | December 2, 2008 4:45 PM

hang tight Governor... with out a doubt, sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits is up to its' eyeballs in off shore Hedge Funds and the Wall Street bailout. We need a "real" sec of state, not a Diva' .

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | December 2, 2008 4:10 PM

Richardson on NAFTA-SHAFTA giant sucking sound and our 'free trade' nightmare.

Q: Do you support broadening North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to include other countries?
A: Yes.

Q: Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support the WTO?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support imposing tariffs on products imported from nations that maintain restrictive trade barriers on American products?

A: No.

Posted by: lockmallup | December 2, 2008 3:46 PM


Boy, is that a Catch-22 of a statement.

People want experienced public officials, but when one is actually experienced, he's slighted for not working in the private sector?

Experienced officials only arise when they spend their professional lives in public service. For better or for worse.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | December 2, 2008 3:36 PM

How bout getting a job in the private sector for once, Bill?

Posted by: loux23 | December 2, 2008 3:33 PM

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