President Elect Barack Obama is expected to name New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (D) as Secretary of Commerce. Richardson will be joining John Podesta (Co-Chair of the Transition team), Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Chief of Staff) and Eric Holder (Attorney General) as the latest Clinton administration vet to be added to Obama's roster.
Obama held a press conference on Monday at 12 noon (EST) to announce his nominees for the economic team. Tim Geithner has been named new Treasury secretary, while Lawrence Summers will be the White House economic adviser, Christina Romer has been chosen to chair the President's Council of Economic Advisers and Melody Barnes will become director of the Domestic Policy Council. But Obama held off on making any other cabinet announcements. A top source within the Obama camp told the Associated Press that although Richardson has passed the final vetting process, the appointment will likely not be announced until later.
Richardson had previously shown interest in the Secretary of State position, but sources have all but confirmed Obama's choice of Senator Hillary Clinton for that role. The Commerce job may be something of a consolation prize for Richardson, who ran for president during the democratic primaries but pulled out of the race in January.
Gov. Richardson went on to stun many in the world of politics when he endorsed Barack Obama in March. Richardson, who held posts as the Secretary of Energy and the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. in President Clinton’s administration, said he "owes a lot to the Clinton family but I served well. I paid it back in service to the country," telling CNN, "I think that Sen. Obama has something special. Something that can bring internationally America’s prestige back, that can deal with the race issue as he did so eloquently, that can deal with the domestic issues in a bipartisan way." Governor Bill Richardson is the highest ranking Latino to be named to Barack Obama's new administration.