February 23rd, 2009
05:14 PM ET
6 years ago

Sources: Locke likely to be new Commerce Secretary nominee

Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke is President Obama’s “likely pick” to be Commerce Secretary, according to senior administration officials and other Democratic officials familiar with the matter.
Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke is President Obama’s “likely pick” to be Commerce Secretary, according to senior administration officials and other Democratic officials familiar with the matter.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke is President Obama’s “likely pick” to be Commerce Secretary, according to senior administration officials and other Democratic officials familiar with the matter.

The officials said the announcement, which will be the President’s third unveiling of a Commerce nominee, could happen as early as Wednesday.

Obama has had trouble filling the post, which is expected to be a key part of his economic team. Republican Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.) dropped out of contention earlier this month after saying he had second thoughts about his ability to work in a Democratic administration. The first choice for the job, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, stepped aside after acknowledging a grand jury investigation in his home state had become a distraction.

Locke was the first Asian-American ever elected to serve as a governor in the United States in 1996. If confirmed, he will be the third Asian-American in the Obama Cabinet, joining Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

(Updated 5:45 p.m.)


Filed under: Obama administration
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Dylan from MN

    I'm not from Washington but I know Fmr, Gov. Locke served two terms from 1997-2005. Maybe you should check the facts before you make yourself look foolish.

    DJ eBAM February 23rd, 2009 5:25 pm ET

    I live in Washington, and let me tell you….Gary Locke is the biggest screw-up in my states history. You would be hard pressed to find a Washingtonian with anything good to say about him. He didn't even run for another term because he knew he had no chance in hell of winning. He turned our state's $2 Billion surplus into a $1 Billion dollar debt in only 4 years (2001-2005)! This would be, hands down, Obama's WORST cabinet pick to date.

    February 23, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  2. Jaimito

    The United Colors of Benetton is complete.

    February 23, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  3. Matthew, Detroit

    As long as he is not caught with a live boy or a dead girl, the guy has

    a chance.

    February 23, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  4. ranjit

    At this moment of time, we just want a commerce secretary. Mr. President, please don't make a mistake again. The process of transition started so smooth and now, it as become one of the laughing stocks of this administration.

    February 23, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  5. connect the dots

    Does he belong to the "Skull and Bones Cult too,like Bush.Obama,and Robert Gates,just to mention a few?

    February 23, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  6. Dylan from MN

    I'm not from Washington but I know Fmr, Gov. Locke served two terms from 1997-2005. But the reason main reason he didn't run for a third term was because right-wing nutjobs threatened him and his family after he gave the Democratic response to G.W's State of the Union in 2003. Maybe you should check the facts before you make yourself look foolish.

    DJ eBAM February 23rd, 2009 5:25 pm ET

    I live in Washington, and let me tell you….Gary Locke is the biggest screw-up in my states history. You would be hard pressed to find a Washingtonian with anything good to say about him. He didn't even run for another term because he knew he had no chance in hell of winning. He turned our state's $2 Billion surplus into a $1 Billion dollar debt in only 4 years (2001-2005)! This would be, hands down, Obama's WORST cabinet pick to date.

    February 23, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  7. Tony

    wow, that diverse!

    February 23, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  8. Joe

    I live here in washington and I like our Former Gov. He is cool. He puts his head down and do his job......

    February 23, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  9. oac

    Third Asian in his cabinet is to signal to China and Japan: Please don't dump those treasuries securities"

    February 23, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  10. person

    GOPS that are worth praise:

    Rep Session of Texas: "we should be more like the taliban".
    Larry craig: not gay in theory but actuality is.
    Rush Limbaugh: oxy addict
    haggard:
    mark Foley: P@DEOPHILE

    February 23, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  11. Tim

    As a WA state resident, I can say that this guy is an awesome pick. He is fair and is also not an enemy of business. Just the guy you need.

    He will do well, he did when he was in charge of our state. Lots of Commerce experience and cred.

    February 23, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  12. Tim

    @ Dittohead who said "as a washington state resident, this the best we have to offer???? he helped chase boeing out of seattle.
    ---–

    NO, dittohead, BOEING chased boeing out of Washington. Boeing also outsourcing assembly to China....so who is chasing out who?

    February 23, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  13. EC

    Hey, if that little scared chicken Gregg Judd CAN'T HANDLE THE JOB, we don't want him!

    Welcome aboard Mr. Locke!

    February 23, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  14. So tired

    Brian G. from Sugarland, TX needs to get a life. His Obama bashing is childish and shows what a dope HE really is. A month in office and the idiot haters jump on any little thing to try and prove they were right for not voting for him. Such typical foolishness is so tired.

    February 23, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  15. White Dude

    Great now Obama is selling out our country to China. First Hillary's comments and now this.

    February 23, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  16. Santa Maria

    Who would have thought that finding an honest person to fill a cabinet position would be so difficult...then again, they are looking for a democrat!

    February 23, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  17. Joseph

    Bet there are less Asians with tax troubles than whites and blacks haha

    February 23, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  18. Matthew

    I think former Washington governor Gary Locke would be an excellent choice for the Obama administration. I may not have supported Barack Obama early on, but the way he is handling matters, it is definitely appealing to me. Too bad he did not do the same to help HRC after the primary season.

    February 23, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  19. Matt

    I think the position is cursed. Do we really need this function of government?

    February 23, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  20. 808Yonip

    George Ariyoshi, two term Hawaii Governor first elected in 1974, was the first Asian American Governor in U.S. history...you probably just forgot that Hawaii is the 50th State.

    February 23, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  21. Foley not a peado

    Foley was an ephibophile; theres a huge difference. (into people just barely legal, or slightly below legal).

    February 23, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  22. DIZIZI31

    and when did you pay your past due taxes?

    February 23, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  23. stillsupportspresident

    *yawns* Typical racist & stupid comment comments.

    February 23, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  24. Mike in NYC

    Even with Locke, BO's regime will still be embarrassingly white. Not that I mind that at all. Seems that "diversity" and competence are mutually exclusive.

    @Matt:

    I'm not sure about Commerce, but Education would be the first to go if it was up to me.

    February 23, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  25. yuri

    Be careful to vet him head-to-toe, in a fatidious fashion, dear BHO! The commerce secretary post is facin' the fury of some fateful fiery phantom's curse so much that the next person for the job should also be an exorcist.

    February 23, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
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