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Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Plot Thickens: Denish Says Richardson "Postponed" Joining Obama Administration

Curiouser and curiouser. Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, who's been busily preparing to assume the New Mexico governorship when current Gov. Bill Richardson leaves to become Commerce Secretary, has issued a statement characterizing Richardson's withdrawal as a postponement in taking a position in the new presidential administration. Here's what her office released this afternoon:

Lt. Governor Diane Denish is currently in Washington DC to attend the swearing in of the New Mexico congressional delegation and to strategize with them on economic stimulus opportunities for New Mexico, specifically infrastructure projects. The Governor and Lt. Governor talked early this morning about the Governor's decision to withdraw his name from consideration for Commerce Secretary at this time.

The Lt. Governor made the following statement:

"Governor Richardson postponed taking a position in the administration to ensure that President Obama and the American people face no delays in getting to work to fix our ailing economy, and the President-elect said he looks forward to Governor Richardson joining his administration in the days ahead. In the meantime, Governor Richardson and I will work together, as we have over the last six years, to tackle challenges at home, to craft a workable budget with the legislature and to strengthen our economy to make sure that every New Mexico family has the opportunity to succeed." [emphasis mine]

So, after talking with Richardson, Denish apparently sees the withdrawal of the Governor's name from consideration for the Commerce slot as a mere stepping back from the process until Obama can re-appoint him to a post when the dust clears.

Obama did indicate in his statement that, "Although we must move quickly to fill the void left by Governor Richardson's decision, I look forward to his future service to our country and in my administration." And Richardson, in his statement about the withdrawal, says he has, "asked the President-elect not to move forward with my nomination at this time."

Richardson's Future
So, what will the future bring for Richardson in the Obama administration? The current spin points to at least some role in the future for the New Mexico Governor, and sooner rather than later.

As I suggested in a previous post, can the withdrawal of Richardson from the nomination process right now be more about Obama's battles over the Blagojevich appointment of Roland Burris than with any serious expectation that the grand jury may end up indicting Richardson? Or did Richardson get forced out by Obama and this is his attempt to keep his iron in the fire for a future slot in the administration? Or did Richardson agree to resign only if Obama promised to appoint him to another position in DC in the future? Only time will tell.

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January 4, 2009 at 04:03 PM in 2009 Gubernatorial Transition, Crime, Obama Transition | Permalink



Posted by: qofdisks | Jan 5, 2009 2:22:43 AM