Speculation of Bill Richardson’s appointment as Commerce Secretary has been swirling around New Mexico for at least two weeks. Democratic officials have now confirmed that Richardson will be named to the post by Barack Obama on Wednesday.
Richardson started in the House of Representatives before joining the Clinton Administration as Secretary of Energy and U.N. Ambassador. While serving as Governor of New Mexico he became the first Hispanic candidate for President. After dropping out of the race early, the Gov. got a visit from Bill Clinton to watch football and insure his endorsement of Hillary. When Richardson endorsed Obama, relationships were understandably strained.
Turns out the Gov. was backing the winning horse.
Richardson’s leadership as Governor has been marked with economic success and practical politics even though he has been at odds with Evangelicals in the state. Building the Rail Runner, providing $400,000 in life insurance to NM military, establishing the Spaceport partnership, and growing the film industry have been major successes. Providing a driver’s license to illegal immigrants has been controversial. Richardson has continued his work on international politics. These activities have been his most favorable and well-reported accomplishments.