Richardson out--Who should be the new Commerce Secretary?

I didn't see this one coming. Bill Richardson has withdrawn from consideration for the Commerce Department job in Barack Obama's cabinet because of a pending FBI investigation. He denies any wrongdoing and will continue to serve as governor of New Mexico. (It's bad luck for Diane Denish, who was set to become that state's first woman governor in a few weeks.)

The Commerce Department is big and oversees a lot of important agencies, like the Census Bureau and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Whom will Obama pick for the Commerce job, and whom should he pick?

UPDATE: Jake Tapper says people on the Obama transition team feel Richardson "was not forthcoming with them about the federal investigation that is looking into whether the governor steered a state contract towards a major financial contributor."

A CNN report suggests Richardson was forced to withdraw his name from consideration.

Reuters speculates about who might replace Richardson.

  • Some speculate Federico Fabian Peña as pick

    Hard to say with his business dealings.  Personally, I prefer Leo Hindery Jr, fmr senior economic advisor to John Edwards, but probably won't pick him.    

    • And apparently Steve Clemons agrees w/my pick

      I think that the Obama team needs someone who understands the economy and the vital need to reinvest in high wage job growth creation, who understands the importance of redesigning America's domestic social contract between labor, firms, capital and government, and who is familiar with business -- and liked by labor.

      There are very few who fit that bill, and Leo Hindery -- who was senior economic advisor to the John Edwards campaign and then was an economic advisor to the Obama campaign as well and authored the interesting book It Takes a CEO -- is a real stand out who the Obama team should consider for Commerce.

      One should also check out Hindery's commentary at the Politico, penned about 18 months ago.

      He would be the next real progressive in addition to Solis and Chu.  

  • Corruption

    This is not good - very embarrassing for Obama.

    What is wrong with Richardson!?  I sure hope we aren't heading for more scandals - we got enough of those with Clinton and Bush.

    I want change but already we've got Blago and Richardson.  Enough!

    I voted for Change, damnit!

    • why is it embarrassing for Obama?

      Is there evidence he knew about this FBI investigation when he picked Richardson?

      Anyway, Richardson is out of the picture before he has even been charged with anything.

      I can tell how much you "hope" no more Democrats get caught up in scandals.

    • Wait

      I know how much you want a liberal police state, Bill. And how much you disagree with the term "Innocent until proven guilty" but this is quick to judge, jury, and execute, even by your incredibly low standards

  • Mitt Romney...

    for Commerce Secy.

    • Ha!

      I got my good belly laugh in for the day!

      Mitt Romney? Peg, you make this daily grind possible.

      Too Funny

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