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By Ed O'Keefe

The Eye hosted the daily Post Politics Hour live discussion earlier today. Below are some of the highlights:

Fairfax County, Va.: I'm sorry to see Bill Richardson withdraw and I hope this truly does get resolved in his favor, so he can come back to D.C. later on.

Two practical questions: Now that this has happened, will it delay subcabinet level appointments at Commerce, or have some of those already been named (NOAA for example?)? And who is likely to be named in his place?

The Eye: Fairfax, two names already mentioned are Tom Vilsack -- the current agriculture secretary nominee -- and Kathleen Sebelius, the current governor of Kansas who was passed over for a cabinet slot. But stay tuned, as the Obama camp has proved, the reported speculation can turn out to be very wrong.

Menomonie, Wisc.: With morning temps here -10 and just a bit further to the north temps of -40(!) (temps, not wind chill), I am eager to know who filled the new NOAA post. What is his or her name? I missed it. Thank you.

The Eye: My bad, sorry!

Jane Lubchenco will head up NOAA, as Obama announced in late December.

As for sub-cabinet appointments, I urge you (and everyone else) to read what I wrote in my blog yesterday:

Richardson's decision to withdraw his name may delay the Obama transition team's ability to pick appointees for other mid-level and managerial positions. There are at least five such jobs at Commerce that need to be filled quickly, according to the Council for Excellence in Government's "Prune Book":

Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Director, Bureau of the Census
Under Secretary for Economic Affairs
Under Secretary for International Trade
Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator

As you note, the NOAA administrator has already been filled.

Harrisburg, Pa.: Ed,

I have to agree with your colleague Chris Cillizza -- the only thing this affects is Richardson; it's hardly a 'death blow' for Obama. It could have been a lot worse -- I'm a little worried about Clinton's disclosures for State now -- and all this does is remove someone who could have hurt Obama further down the line.

The Eye: So far there doesn't seem to be anything that would derail or delay Clinton's chances. As Chris observed a few weeks ago, it's likely that AG nominee Eric Holder's nomination process could be most difficult.

AU Eagle here: Hi Ed --

Happy New Year!

Do you think there is any chance that Obama will make any cuts to federal agencies?

If so, what would be most likely on the chopping block?


The Eye: Working on getting an answer to that actually, fellow Eagle, since he's called for efficiency and cutting unnecessary spending, etc.

But -- considering the proposals to create 600,000 new federal jobs, it's hard to see how the cuts would make a big dent.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 5, 2009; 1:10 PM ET
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