November 23rd, 2008
11:56 AM ET
6 years ago

Richardson expected to be Commerce secretary, sources say

Bill Richardson is expected to be named as the Secretary of Commerce, two Democrats tell CNN.
Bill Richardson is expected to be named as the Secretary of Commerce, two Democrats tell CNN.

(CNN) - Two Democrats close to the transition tell CNN that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is now expected to be nominated as Secretary of Commerce by President-elect Barack Obama, pending the final vetting process.

Richardson, one of the leading Hispanics in the Democratic Party, had been seeking the Secretary of State post but lost out to Sen. Hillary Clinton. Obama aides have told CNN that Obama is “on track” to nominate Clinton as his secretary of state after Thanksgiving.

The precise timing on the announcement of Richardson’s appointment is unclear.

Two Richardson advisers said privately that Richardson had been hoping State would be his prize after facing political heat for picking Obama over Clinton, but the governor is willing to accept another post in hopes that he will move up in the Cabinet later in the administration.

Richardson served as Energy Secretary and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in the Clinton administration.

Obama’s pick will now mean that at least three former rivals from the Democratic presidential primaries will be in senior posts in the Obama administration - Richardson, Clinton and Vice President-elect Joe Biden.

soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. John

    Marie,

    Many people are confused about the NAFTA agreement and see it as a major problem for the United States. It is actually beneficial to many Americans. There is a tarriff freeze and jobs are heading south or even further east, that part is true. The benefit comes in what the United States gets. Remember Canada? Its our largest trading partner and the largest supplier of natural resources in the world, notably ENERGY. According to NAFTA Canada must ensure 80% of its gross energy and natural resource products in 1994 levels are exported, with the soul beneficiary being the United States. Not only does it divert clean water reserves to the mid west but the hydro electricity it produces (p.s. its the largest supplier) powers most homes stretching both from the eastern to western seaboards. We might want to think twice before negotiating NAFTA, think about how badly we need that energy right now!

    November 23, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. DB25

    I used to work for the Commerce Department. I think Richardson is a great choice...he knows the ropes around the Government and would do a good job.

    November 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Obama08 but...

    Commerce secretary?????

    What happened to Secretary of State?????

    Is HiLIEary really going to get that job????

    I knew I shouldn't have voted or went with Ralph.

    Darn it. Should have known this was going to end up a Clinton administration after all.

    November 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Obama08 but...

    KJL- His resume is better than Obama's. It's not about resume in case you haven't already figured that out.

    November 23, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Look, Barack is not stupid. I'm glad the nod for SOS is going to Hillary. This means that in 2012 it would be absurd for her to run for the presidency against her boss. This is a very wise political move for him.
    Richardson? Eh. He'll be okay as Commerce secretary.

    November 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. He's no Lincoln

    Lose the facial hair.

    November 23, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. Carrie

    Congratulations to Richardson, I'm sure he will do well in his new post. Obama has put together an excellent, well respected team.

    November 23, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. Jeff Brown

    Bill paid his dues, he's entitled to a cabinet position...

    November 23, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  9. joanjuneau

    Obama continues to build an impressive team with great starpower. They are the best, the brightest, the most experienced and the most talented from every field. More power to all of them. Our future is looking up.

    November 23, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. Socialism what?

    Socialism – Weren't we already dipping into socialism under President Bush and all other presidents before him? Unions, Fannie and Freddy, Welfare programs, social security, etc. etc., etc. Why is socialism now all of a sudden an Obama thing? Why is he being blamed for something that was already in place before he graduated from college.

    Economy – When did the economy starting going bad? Who was in control when our economy took a dive? Why is Obama being blamed for our economy – he wasn't in office for the last 8 years?

    Abortion – Did President Bush stop abortions? Did President Reagan stop abortions? What is the difference between abortion and taking an innocent life with a gun or fighting in wars where innocent children are being caught in the cross fire? Murder is murder! The bottom line is that we all have a choice and our choice should be to do the right thing – no murder, no abortion period! We have a choice, the bible states that. So don't blame Obama for choices.

    You people who don't like Obama hang onto anything to hide behind the real reasons why you hate them. I'm not falling for your hate act. Get a life!

    November 23, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. KJ

    I knew all along that the only reason Richardson endorsed Obama is because he was expecting to get a big appointment out of it. Same with Kerry.

    Barack Obama is his own man.

    November 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. Sorry. I don't get it.

    This guy only cares about himself.

    I lived in New Mexico. He hasn't done much there except give away incentives to the rich in Hollywood for making movies in his state.

    That's it.

    He couldn't even get rid of cockfighting.

    November 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. gregory james

    yes he his he is a dem good choice not like her she thinks its her world and she is a hell cat!!! shes oh oh oh so good that lady!!!

    November 23, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. Erik, Austin TX

    Richardson is far more qualified to be Secretary of State than Hillary, and he should have gotten that post. For someone who obviously wants to be President, I would think remaining as a governor would be better for his political career than a post like Commerce. State would have been a good career move, but I'm not so sure Commerce would be.

    November 23, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. S Callahan

    Somewhat disappointed....I thought Obama would pick Richardson as Secrectary of State.........
    I think Sen. Clinton would do best in the Senate..especially with more power offered to her..........
    my 2cents....

    November 23, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. Jim Jam

    Ya'll need to give this man a chance. I have seen "Impeach Obamb" stickers already... And he hasn't even gotten into office yet.

    We all need to work together to get this country back on track, this is a smart man, give him a chance, and be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Failure with your guy at the helm is not better than success with ours...

    November 23, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. Timber (ex dem)

    Duh! This was the price of being a snake and betraying the Clinton's and endorsing Obama. All the rats are getting spots they were promised. Please! Also, when asked about the economy, Obama says "I will do what needs to be done to fix it". How vague is that?? No other politician could ever get away with that. I don't see Katie Couric attacking that.

    November 23, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  18. Simmy

    I don't believe for a minute that he doesn't want the job! Who in Clinton's entourage did you talk to? (Citizen know it all!)

    I think Gov. Richardson will be happy to serve, and he'll be loyal!

    I don't think President Obama knew Hillary was going to go run and open her big mouth! She was merely one of the contenders. Bill Richardson was also a choice.

    But when Madam MisSpeak opened her mouth, and her possee ran with the story, to avoid any more drama, President-elect was stuck with her as SOS.

    She had better do a good job and not bring any extra baggage with her, or she'll be out the door within a year!

    November 23, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. carolflowery

    Seems to me, Obama is just bringing in all the people that were
    pumping him up during the primaires, and HIllary is a must, he must
    jkeep her under his thumb. Richardson was a judas, but hey, i didnt say that, james carville diid

    November 23, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. David

    Very Professional and dicipline to accept the situation even though everybody knows that Gov Richardson is more qualified for SOS than Sen Clinton. But another quality he has is versatility. He move up the latter after doing a great job a Commerce.

    And yes We could be looking at a Future President!! He is certainly Qualifed and he would get my Vote as Barack Did!!!!

    November 23, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  21. Anna, ATL

    Bill Richardson could hardly face up to heat from the Clinton camp for choosing Obama over Hillary in the primary.

    Rather, he kinda winged it with his tail between his legs instead of
    taking a stand as to why, when the Clintons helped take him where he is.

    You have to have a strong, confident personality to Sec'y of State. If Obama thought he was cut out for it he would have given to him, because he does HAVE the experience.
    Clearly, Obama thought differently.

    At least there is one man on this Earth who isn't afraid of a strong confident women...or at least two- Michelle, and Hillary.

    good for you, Pres-elect Barack Obama!

    November 23, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  22. Anna, ATL

    Bill Richardson could hardly face up to heat from the Clinton camp for choosing Obama over Hillary in the primary.

    Rather, he kinda winged it with his tail between his legs instead of
    taking a stand as to why, when the Clintons helped take him where he is.

    You have to have a strong, confident personality to Sec'y of State. If Obama thought he was cut out for it he would have given to him, because he does HAVE the experience.

    Clearly, Obama thought differently.

    At least there is one man on this Earth who isn't afraid of a strong confident women...or at least two- Michelle, and Hillary.

    good for you, Pres-elect Barack Obama!

    November 23, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. FreeNLovIt

    Thank God! Obama is already a soft-spoken individual,we dont need another weak individual to head teh Secretary of State position.

    November 23, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. FreeNLovIt

    It's a boring position but he can have it. Looks like the Clintons will have the last laugh....

    November 23, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. nancydrew1711

    do you people ever look at facts?? i live in new mexico and it is high in poverty, dwi drivers, no real commerce. obviously obama is just looking to fill debts with who he is picking. lots of change, right back to clinton's administration. good job.

    November 23, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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