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Becerra in Chicago to Meet with Obama About USTR Job

By Al Kamen
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), who's a top candidate to be U.S. Trade Representative in the incoming administration, is in Chicago today to meet with President-elect Barack Obama to discuss the job. Becerra, an eight-term congressman and former candidate for mayor of Los Angeles, has "clearly been thinking it over," in recent days, according to knowledgeable sources, but has raised concerns about leaving the House and about whether to move his family to Washington.

There was some consideration given to announcing Becerra, a leading Hispanic lawmaker, for the job yesterday along with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D), who's also Hispanic, but the Becerra pick was not settled. Sources yesterday said they understood that the transition was looking to bring as many as three Latinos into cabinet-level or senior positions in the administration.

Former two-term Washington governor Gary Locke, a Chinese-American, has also been under consideration for the job.

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 4, 2008; 12:49 PM ET
Categories:  Cabinet  
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Represenative Becerra will have to explain his role in a Clinton pardon.

He recommended that an individual who trafficked in over 800 kilos of cocaine receive a pardon from President Clinton. This was after the individual's father made substantial campaign contributions to Becerra.

I would imagine that this would lead to serious questions regarding his appointment!

Posted by: mwhoke | December 4, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

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