December 3rd, 2008
12:20 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama nominates Richardson for Cabinet

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama officially named Richardson Commerce Secretary Wednesday."] WASHINGTON (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama announced New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as his pick for secretary of commerce on Wednesday, calling him a "leading economic diplomat for America."

"I know that Bill will be an unyielding advocate for American business and American jobs, at home and around the world. And I look forward to working with him in the years ahead," Obama said at a news conference in Chicago, Illinois.

Richardson, one of the best-known Hispanics in the Democratic Party, served as the energy secretary in the Clinton administration as well as being the ambassador to the United Nations.

With the announcement, Richardson becomes the third former presidential rival to join Obama's team. Vice President-elect Joe Biden and Sen. Hillary Clinton, Obama's pick for secretary of state, also competed for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Richardson on Wednesday called it a "great honor" to be chosen for the post.

Watch Richardson describe how Commerce can push economic recovery

"There are some who speak of a team of rivals, but I've never seen it that way. Past competitors? Yes. But rivals implies something harder-edged and less forgiving. And in the worlds of diplomacy and commerce, you open markets and minds not with rivalry, but instead with partnership and innovation and hard work," Richardson said.

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Filed under: Bill Richardson • Obama transition
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. proudliberal

    best pick yet, should have been sos, but, princess hillary bought that position.

    December 3, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. Jan

    How soon will he stab his benefactor in the back?

    December 3, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. Tulsa

    "....partnership, innovation and hard work."
    You go Mr. Secretary.

    December 3, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  4. Out of the loop

    Where's the beard?

    December 3, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. Kitten Cat


    December 3, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Bill Richardson had the best resume of ANY candidate who started the year of 2008 as a Presidential candidate.

    But, as has happened to me personally, another person got the job.
    Make no mistake, I'm behind Obama 100%. But in terms of what was on paper, Richardson had it all and I don't think any of the other candidates did his foreign relations experience and domestic responsibilities (sec'y of energy).

    We need help right now in our trade, and South America (Latin America) will be a very important trade partner. Outside of Bill being the Sec'y of State, I can't think of a better person to be Commerce Sec'y.

    December 3, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. Lorna, NY

    What's up with the three chins????

    December 3, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. Amber in Orlando

    Christ! Look at that chin fat.

    December 3, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  9. Tim in VA

    It's beginning to feel alot like the 90's. Change you can believe in? Nope, just a rehashed Clinton White House.

    December 3, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. ran

    I still believe he would have been a better SOS then Clinton.

    December 3, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. arlene, CA

    good pick. Looks like a Clinton WH. We should have just voted for Clinton & hoped Obama would have been a pick for some high cabinet seat. What did we change by electing Obama prez ?

    December 3, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |

    I am disappointed with the Latino communities brazen push for how many Latinos the President -Elect should add to his cabinet. There's was not the only group that helped to elect him and I am sure he will make the best decision as it concerns all people. However I would like to add that when Latinos own or run things they tend to hire only each other and perhaps the occasional other of a particular race, so are you asking the President -Elect to do something that this group generally does not ?

    December 3, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. Precious Coker, NY

    Call it whatever you may. Bill Richardson stood with Obama at a time it mattered.

    Now, he gets the commerce portfolio in a"square-peg-in-square-hole" administration, isn't that nice?

    December 3, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. Ernie

    My God, That man needs to lose some weight. He looks lazy.

    December 3, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. sglman4Obama

    He should have kept the beard. That picture looks like his chin just threw up! EEK!

    December 3, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. Proud to be American

    I really wanted him to be Secretary of State, But I am gladhi is willing to take on the job of Secretary of Commerce. He is for real.

    December 3, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Sara

    A very competent and dicent man. Sorry he was not chosen for SoS. I guess Obama thought he was too peaceful for that position and that is a troubling sign. The world needs peace not more wars.

    December 3, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. lol


    December 3, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  19. Richard Larson

    Gov. Bill Richardson is one of the wisest choices Obama has made in the make-up of this cabinet. Not only is he one of the most knowledgeable of the cabinet members, he is personally known, and trusted, by numerous world leaders as a statesman. He will be one of those voices offering well thought alternate action proposals for the president to consider, and he can go places where it is possible that Hillary would be less successful due to prejudice or custom. Not only will he be an advocate for the hispanic community, he will be a very articulate voice for the american indian community as well. A brilliant choice. I wish him well.

    December 3, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. JuanM

    Richardson looks just like any other fat-cat from Washington. Even with all of those chins.

    December 3, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. Connie

    I like Bill Richardson and respect that he had the courage to defy the Clintons and endorse Barack during the primary. I'm sure he will do well in the Cabinet.

    December 3, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. ch

    Guess Richardson knows his place now – WAY behind Hillary.

    She got 18 million votes and Richardson got about 18.

    And she won NM!

    December 3, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. LGriff

    I agree, he should have been pick for SOS. Hillary could have been Secretary of Healthcare. But, after so many years, I guess she failed in that area. We will see how she does in her new role.

    If she starts to undermine Pres. O, she's gotta go........................simple as that!!!!!!!

    December 3, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. Nina

    Yes! But he should have been SOS.

    December 3, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. Barbara

    The appointment of Richardson to the Cabinet is absolutely mind-boggling. Richardson has already shown himself to be disloyal as per his deflection from the Clinton camp when something better came along. Bill Clinton made this made and he repaid him with his betrayal. Does Obama think he has the magic lantern? Richardson will betray him just as easily! And to make matters worse, Richardson used his position as former Energy Secretary to further feather his nest by working for the oil companies after leaving the White House. What a dirt bag! Judas

    December 3, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |