Obama Commerce Nominee Bill Richardson Withdraws Amid Probe

Obama has to find a new Commerce Department chief, after his nominee Bill Richardson withdrew his name.

MSNBC: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, tapped in December by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as secretary of Commerce, has withdrawn his name for the position, citing a pending investigation into a company that has done business with his state.

“Let me say unequivocally that I and my Administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact,” he said Sunday in a report by NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell. “But I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process.”

In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a huge deal thouh Richardson has built a decent reputation in New Mexico for his attitude towards business. That being said, it seems clear that corruption issues will probably dog the new administration for a while. It’s not his corruption, but between this and the circus out of Illinois, which has enveloped his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, this will be a distraction.

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