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. Obama for President

    I wish Richardson would be Secretary of State. I think he has more foreign policy experience than Clinton. Kerry would have been better, too. They both supported Obama strongly when it counted, and Clinton opposed him. Go figure.

    November 23, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. FreeNLovIt

    I'm so glad Hillary accepted the Secretary of State position. Now, i can sleep better when Obama gets those 2 AM phone calls. The Clintons will be a great filter against un-necessary demands upon Obama.

    November 23, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Richardson should be Secretary of State.... Hillary has ZERO experience for the job, and I'm sick of her grasping feelings of ENTITLEMENT. I wouldn't appoint her a dog catcher.


    November 23, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. Linda


    "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."

    Well, Billie boy, that may have just ended your prospects all together. Obama insists on LOYALTY. And you just whined and complained in public that you expected payment for selling out the Clintons, even after breaking your promise to them.

    And what arrogance, you'll settle for this position, with expectations of moving up later. OH. With this sentiment shared by YOUR Advisers, you showed why you not only don't deserve S O S, deserve, funny word, the Position IS WAY OVER YOUR SKILL SET, but you show a dangerous trait that shows why you shouldn't be in any Cabinet position.

    November 23, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. Kenny

    Bill Richardson should have been the choice for Secretary of State. His experience dealing with foreign nationals along with his efforts in getting hostages released make him the right choice. The man has been nominated for the Nobel Prize 3 times! I think HIllary is also a good choice, but just not the best one. The one thing I must say is that it seems that intellligent and capable people are going to play major roles in this administration. Man, how long have we needed that? Good luck to President-elect Obama and his cabinet. I feel good going forward.

    November 23, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. Obama--watch your back

    Ruchardson is the quintessential Brutus-

    He knifed Hillary in the back by switching to Obama-

    So if I was Obama, I'd sleep with one eye open-

    November 23, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. Lois, Ont., Canada

    I was hoping he would have picked Gov. Richardson over Clinton. People are tired if the 'Clintons' & 'Bushes' We will have to Madam 'Pant Suits' fro the next 4 Years! Yuck!

    November 23, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. Jen, Cali

    You'd think the guy would at least shave his face to stop looking like the Wolf Man !!!!!!!!

    November 23, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. some people in america are stupid

    people, we need a government that works. stop the ignorant conservative thoughts. they are destroying our country

    November 23, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. joe

    Lol Margo, Richardson is not loyal. The Clintons made him, and he dropped her and endorsed Obama in the Primary. I really like Bill Richardson, but don't tell me he's loyal.

    November 23, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. Whatever.

    Just look at New Mexico. That place is a disaster. I know, I lived there for five years.

    Richardson is out for himself.

    November 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. David

    Looking strictly at the qualifications, Richardson would be a much better Secretary of State than Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, as with the Lieberman amnesty, political calculations seem to have taken priority over qualifications and what's best for the country.

    November 23, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. CCT

    Richardson is loyal? He was best buds with Bill Clinton. They watched New Years Day football together Jan 1,08. Then he comes out for Obama. Please define LOYAL for us. Loyal would have been to make no endorsement.

    November 23, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz



    November 23, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  15. Sandy

    Richardson should do well as Sec of Commerce. Hillary will be very good as Sec of State. Good choices!

    November 23, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. Glen

    Hillary carried a bit more clout. She was ex senator. Richardson was only Governor and former sec and UN...he will be SOS next term of Obama and Hillary will have 4 yrs to get ready for after's all a big plan...

    November 23, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. Sara Shamili

    He deserved to get Secretary of State position. Unfortunately it shows that for Obama, enemies are more valuable and rewarded than friends. If Richardson knew it when he endorsed Obama, and was so much attacked by Hillary and her croines, he would have not bothered. It seems that Obama's cabinet will be dominated by hawks. Maybe there would be also place for Rumsfeld.

    November 23, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. no drama, CA

    I would rather have Richardson for SOS. Why did he not get it ?

    November 23, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. Craig - Hastings, MN

    WRONG position. It should be Sec. of State and NOT that UNQUALIFIED Clinton woman along with hubby "Bubba." Talk about "Change" and what do you get? Clinton III.Real smart Obama. Political payoff if I ever saw one.

    November 23, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. Tweety

    The secretary of commerce job is responsible for job creation. Seems like Richardson is getting a good cabinet post. Obama wants to create 2.5 million jobs in the next few years and will have to work closely with Richardson as secretary of commerce to get that done.

    November 23, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Richard Larson

    Commerce is the perfect place to position the Governor. He is a known quantity when it comes to successful representation of this nation's international policies. He is also known and respected by some of our enemies as being a fair and even-handed negotiator. I would also state that if it were necessary for contact to be made under cover, Richardson would be perfectly positioned, as Sec. of Commerce to carry out a mission that maybe Hillary, at State could not be seen as being involved in. The perfect one-two combination.

    I do know this, State and Commerce must work hand-in-hand often times to effect the international policy of the president and that Bill Richardson is a team player.

    Another thing is this, I am not certain that Hillary will be content to stay at state for up to eight years. I am almost certain that she will only stay four and even possibly less and that Richardson will be the perfect replacement.

    November 23, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  22. Kevin

    Good pick..... Richardson will be the next President now that Hillary is out. Obama loves this guy.

    November 23, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. Jack

    Obama ran as a candidate of change yet all he has done so far is name all of the same old players from the Clinton administration to his adminstration. I was hoping that he would bring some fresh faces to Washington when he kept talking about change. It appears that Obama did nothing but talk about "change" yet the only change he is going to bring us is a change in which party is pointing the fingers and placing the blame. So much for all the hope for a brand new world in Washington. It looks like it will be the same people from the Clinton years running the country with the same old Democratic party.

    November 23, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. bk

    If you stab your friends in the back no one trust you. Judas doesn't even deserve this job.

    November 23, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. Bill, ca

    Why would Bill Clinton be interested in a cabinet position, he is getting a nice presidents pension and has his speaking engagements and his foundation.

    Sarah Palin will also get a lot of millions thanks to her rhetoric campaihn speeches.

    Richardson will be alright for a while with secretary of commerce.

    November 23, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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