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

Richardson expected to be Commerce secretary, sources say

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. mitch

    sorry, bill. he gave the job you earned, to hillary. it's called washington politics,and apparently THAT will never change. the clinton administration is shaping up just fine. i'm sure the pumas are thrilled.

    November 23, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Over taxed, over worked

    I guess this means nothing will get done about illegal immigration.....

    November 23, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. New Day

    I would've liked to see him get Secretary of State but, all things being equal, I can see why Clinton is a better political choice.

    November 23, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. Independent Voter

    I guess Richardson can ditch the beard now. He's been so busy looking "More Hispanic than Thou" in order to weasel his way in.

    Richardson is such a WASP name in a world in which it is much more lucrative to be Hispanic – Obama's World.

    Obama better watch his back, though. This guy is FOR SALE to the highest bidder.

    November 23, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. KJL

    He is building an impressive resume. We may be looking at a future president.

    November 23, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. Michael -Ventura,CA

    Good choice! I would have liked to see John Kerry as Secretary of State though.

    November 23, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. Ann

    It appears that Gov. Richardson's switch during the primaries now seems to be more self serving than was apparent before, even though many of us thought it to be how he could advance his own career rather than a staunch support of then Senator Obama. It is unfortunate that he pledged allegiance to Obama figuring he would get Secretary of State and now I wonder how he feels about his relegation to a lower tier than he expected. But if the article is correct, then his taking it in hopes of stepping up the ladder later, seems once again his willingness to serve only depends on what is in it for himself and his own gains rather than the country or Obama's. How sad.

    November 23, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. Marie banderas

    On commerce and free trade, I have some questions..
    1st. If there are no jobs here for us, there is no money either, so WHO is going to buy those imported products then ?
    2nd. Since so many of our jobs have been sent out, does this free trade ( or fair trade) agreements mean that the very jobs that should have been American jobs, are now making the products that we the american people want and need but no longer have money to BUY ?
    I dont see the logic in this ? what good is free trade if there is no one left able to bUY these things ??
    Good things for Richardson to ask too and and change..How many products areWE manufacturing and exporting ?? Seems to me more is imported than exported..and who controls how much is paid for imported products and how much is paid for exported products..I would love to see MORE "Made in America" products that even WE can buy...

    November 23, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. happy thanksgiving

    sounds like a lot of intelligent people,

    November 23, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Clearly this is going to be an administration of clear thinkers with exceptional knowledge, not a group of "make goods" for friends without qualifications!!!

    Mike Brown are you listening?!

    Norman Maneta are you listening?!

    John "The Crooner" Ashcroft are you listening?!

    Donald Rumsfeld are you listening?!

    Abu Gonzales are you listening?!

    Condi Rice are you watching?!

    November 23, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Robert

    Be careful America and President-Elect Obama. Turncoats don't change their colors and Richardson is the biggest turncoat of the primary season. He will be awful as a Commerce Secretary – just take a good look at what his positions are. Worst decision President-Elect Obama has made to date! Richardson does not have the best interest of America at heart – only his best interest.

    November 23, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. Chase, SC


    November 23, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. Suzy


    November 23, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Ken

    I believe that this is not a good choice! He has two faces and is only looking out for himself, not the American people.

    He is being used to help and maintain the "Latino" voters, along with all of the ILLEGAL ALIEN supporters.

    If there is an attempt for amnesty of the 12 to 20 million ILLEGAL ALIENS, the American people will need to rise up and stop him!


    November 23, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. G


    November 23, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Margo

    He was the one who deserved the Sec.of State nod! Gracious, no drama and loyal.

    November 23, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. ken

    I wonder what position Bill Clinton will get in this Cabinet.

    November 23, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Obama-nation = Abomination

    Another Clinton person. So much for change, but then again, I didn't want Obama's promised style of change anyway; I will gladly take a second Clinton admin over Obama's promises of Socialism.

    He's doing about as well as I could have hoped with his picks, showing he's just another Dem.

    November 23, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  19. edu of NOVA

    Richardson would have been an impressive SOS. However given the state of our economy, I think that commerce is just as poweful a position as SOS. Richardson will do great. i Si se puede !

    November 23, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  20. J.C.

    According to his two advisers, Governor Richardson doesn't seem very interested in being the Commerce Secretary. Although the 2007 budget for Commerce was only 6.2 billions, the smallest slice of the pie, it will be a critical component of the government in this globalization era. If he has the choice, he would most likely prefer the SOS job as diplomacy is part of his nature. It looks like he will have to work up the ladder. Commerce Secretary is exactly one step ahead of Labor Secretary. Congratulations!

    November 23, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  21. Obama-nation = Abomination

    KJL- That is Richardson's goal, but if you do a little digging around in New Mexico, you will find that there are too many skeletons rattling around down here.

    But, then again, Obama, who can't even prove he was born in the U.S., did manage to get elected, so I guess anything is possible.

    November 23, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  22. Turn Republican

    Forgot the traiter.

    November 23, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  23. Texas Teacher

    I am quite amazed at how many people did not listen to Obama's speeches and/or went to his website to read his plans for our and the world economy.

    He clearly stated that he wanted a global economy, but a fair one to Americans. He said that we should have more fair trade agreements. That countries that send products here must fairly accept our products. That taxes on imports and exports should be reflective of the other not one sided. So many more things that bring about a fair world economy where everyone profits, NOT just Big Business! I'm not an economist by any means, but I know when something sounds logical and makes sense. Obama makes sense. Read his book, The Audacity of Hope, and you will know how his mind works.... where he is coming from.

    I feel Barack Obama will do what he has promised as much as he can and will be allowed to do so. Right now he has to bring our economy back to something more like normal. I think his plans sound wise. And he is surrounding himself with the wisest people he can find, not his cronnies! That alone gives me hope!

    November 23, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  24. 60 year old white female and proud supporter of PE Obama

    Pieces of the jigsaw puzzle coming together nicely. Remember all you naysayers....only seven of sixteen cabinet posts have been "allocated"...lots of time to include diversity in region, race, etc.

    ...and for the Republicans critics...please tell what the alternative in a McCain/Palin cabinet would be like...Lieberman, Guliani, Romney, Phil Grahm....all with a 2oth century mindset!!

    November 23, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. Lauren

    Who did America elect President?

    It seems to be it will be Bill Clintons White House all over again, with a few exceptions.

    Is that number one on Obamas list,,,
    " served in the Clinton Administration"

    So much for change.
    Whats next for Obama, Lewinsky for intern?

    November 23, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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