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« Lt. Gov. Diane Denish Profiled in New Mexican | Main | Richardson's Bow Out: Why Now? »

Sunday, January 04, 2009

(Updates x 3 - It's Official) Drudge Headline: "More Obama Drama: Richardson Pulls Out"

Update 3: According to Politico:

A source close to Richardson told Politico, "There are too many unanswered questions and while he thinks the results of the grand jury will turn out in his favor, he doesn't want to distract attention from the administration."

Update 2: Video of NBC's Andrea Mitchell reporting the exclusive:

Update 1: The story is true. It's posted as breaking news on MSNBC.com:

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 Bill Richardson, tapped in December by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as secretary of Commerce, has withdrawn his name for the position, citing a pending investigation into a company that has done business with his state.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

... Obama said Sunday he accepted Richardson's decision to withdraw with 'deep regret.'

"Governor Richardson is an outstanding public servant and would have brought to the job of Commerce Secretary and our economic team great insights accumulated through an extraordinary career in federal and state office," Obama said.

Here's what the controversy is about.

Richardson said he will remain as New Mexico Governor. So much for Lt. Gov. Diane Denish's transition team and whoever she had in mind to replace her. And so much for Denish getting the benefit of serving as Governor before the 2010 election, which could well help the chances of Heather Wilson, who has leaked about running on the R side.

So much for the opportunities for New Mexico that might have stemmed indirectly from having Richardson at the helm of the Commerce Department. Of course Richardson could be tapped later by the Obama administration for some role, if he's cleared by a grand jury in the long and wide-ranging investigation being conducted by the FBI -- but that could take many moons.

True or false? Who knows? It's the slimy, tabloid gossip-monger Matt Drudge making this assertion about Bill Richardson's Commerce Secretary nomination this morning, with zero documentation or explanation. But it's out there. If true (big if), it would certainly throw a monkey wrench into the works here in New Mexico -- not to mention drawing more negative attention to the Obama transition.

Also see my later post on this issue.

January 4, 2009 at 11:23 AM in 2009 Gubernatorial Transition, Obama Transition | Permalink


The actions of March 21 2008 finally comes back to haunt Bill Richardson. Unbelievable.

I guess karma does exist.

I wonder what the Clintons have to say about this. Probably smiling right along with me.

Posted by: daniel | Jan 4, 2009 12:34:29 PM

So the "slimy, tabloid gossip-monger Matt Drudge" was 100% correct, eh? So what's the deal, you guys still pissed off that he broke the also 100% true story about Clinton and Lewinski?

Posted by: Hmmmmm | Jan 4, 2009 12:36:25 PM

Yeah, Drudge is right rarely, every now and then. Even a bad clock is right twice a day. He is a sleazy hypocrite no doubt about it.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Clinton machine were in on going after Richardson. Now if someone would only look into Bill's big money for his foundation and where it comes from.

Posted by: JJ | Jan 4, 2009 12:50:54 PM

I think it is a real shame. Politics is full of the pay to play. The Clintons have their pay to play sure as Bill does, and even Obama and Denish - all of em. And how 'bout the Bushes and Cheneys? One word - Halliburton.

Some are allowed to pay for play now and some aren't, that is the new dynamics at work.

I have heard many people lately saying Richardson spent the state into the hole and was abandoning ship (in fact it was a journal cartoon one day). I guess that is no longer the case. Not that i thought that was Richardson's motive to get the commerce secretary position.

I for one feel bad for the gov - he would have been a great commerce sec. I think he pushed and established real far out things here in NM that will benefit the state for decades. I hope while he is still here he keeps pushing for the good of all New Mexicans. I hope the legislature works with him.

Posted by: mary ellen | Jan 4, 2009 2:13:03 PM

Hey "daniel". The loss of the commerce post will hurt New Mexico and it will hurt Diane Denish too. Now she will have to run harder in 2010 and if Heather Wilson runs she'll have a better chance of getting in there. This would all be bad for health care, education, poor people, working people, children and on and on.

The bad karma will fall on us not Richardson. Why are you so happy about it? You are such a shallow thinker.

Posted by: Josie | Jan 4, 2009 3:04:18 PM


The karma is reflective of Richardson loyalty or lack thereof and nobody else. In two weeks...if Bill would have kept his mouth quiet...we would be inaugurating Hillary. But as James carville so eloguently put it....10 pieces of silver goes a long way in politics these days.

Granted this revelation means he remains Gov. of NM for now....however depending on how the investigation goes the NM Legislature may have something to say about that.

Diane Denish may very well become our interim Gov. before 2010 comes around.

Posted by: daniel | Jan 4, 2009 3:19:19 PM

daniel, you are off base I'm afraid. Hillary lost because she was the lesser candidate and she had too much baggage from the Bill Clinton era. She also voted for the Iraq War. Obama had a vastly superior ground game and GOTV operation.

"karma" has nothing to do with it. Where's the "karma" that's paying back Bush-Cheney and the rest of the evil empire?

James Carville had some nerve saying anything like that. He is married to the enemy Mary Matalin and does nothing except for money and clout. What a bozo.

Posted by: Josie | Jan 4, 2009 4:08:20 PM

Its a sad day not only for the Govenor but for New Mexico as well. This has the stink of a Rove like political back stabbing to it, IMO, I don't think there is any real wrong doing there but none the less it seems enough to derail the Govenor. It wouldn't surprise me what sore looser might have had a hand in it.

Posted by: VP | Jan 5, 2009 9:49:42 AM