Richardson at Commerce:"Not an A list position"

Yesterday, I took grief for stating my opinion about the lack of Latinos in the "A" level cabinet positions.

I thought that Obama had created a problem for himself because he willingly played the identity politics game (where you address different segments of the population as members of self-identifyed groups, and make political bargains for votes) and not adequately showing respect to Latinos who were a crucial swing group.  This was especially true with the perceived  black-brown racial tension, and the potential of McCain to appeal to latinos (at least much more than any other Republican).

For some reason, almost everyone disputed the notion of "A", "B", and "C" level cabinet posts.  They also felt that this wasn't an embarrassment for Richardson.

Well maybe a Politico headline, "Downwardly Mobile?, How bad does he want it" will show you I'm on to something. 1108/bill_richardson_downwardly_mobile_a b77ff37-3d39-4eaf-bda5-305074d857ad.html

Well politico, which is the Conventional wisdom has come out and said:

"How bad does New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson want to be a part of the Next Big Thing in American politics?

Apparently enough so to accept what is effectively a political demotion.

Richardson is on track to become President-elect Barack Obama's secretary of commerce -- not a bad gig but also not an A-List position a la Treasury, Justice, State and Defense."

Exactly what I talked about yesterday.

Now, you can continue to disagree with the notion. But it's real.
Also, you can quibble with which cabinet posts are perceived as the best, but the fact is, Commerce is an afterthought.

Obama will now have to commit himself to fixing this problem with a grand gesture.

I suspect it could be a Supreme Court nominee,


maybe fix it so that a latino takes his place in Illinois.

I wish Democrats would transition away from playing these political games to get elected.  Perhaps that will be change for the future.  But I linked to a politico story yesterday that showed there was a meeting where various Latino leaders got the understanding that if they performed in terms of getting the vote out for Obama, they would get repaid. 8/15375.html

My solution is for the President-elect to select the very best people for each job regardless of anything else.

He has the credibility as a Democrat to do that.

I believe in affirmative action when its' clear there are people not reaching their God-given potential because of reasons inherit in them or their circumstance.  In those cases we should take affirmative action to try to remove the barriers, stigma, or other hinderances so every child grows up believing in themselves, and we as a nation will prosper overall in the long term from greater productivity and advances.

However, Obama is the living example of the best America has to offer, and so he is in a position to move us toward a post-racial society where it truly is color-blind.  He can make it clear that this is not desirable everywhere and all the time, but where it is, that should be the goal.

Failing all of that, we will continue to play these identity politic games to the detriment of our country.


I like Hillary for sec of state over richardson because he's too weak and focused on diplomacy.

He is not qualified for any other "A" level job, so he is where he deserves to be.

Tags: craig farmer, Democrats, newliberal, obama (all tags)



Re: "Not an A list position"

Can we get this up on the rec list next to Nancy K?

Better yet, would you mind writing another diary about how The Gay is destroying the Democratic Party, and we can get that one next to one of Nancy's diaries about the genius of Sarah Palin?

by Jess81 2008-11-24 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: "Not an A list position"

Hell yeah!  Someone should put together an "Identity Politics' Greatest Hits" compilation.  Nancy K. representin' for women, yellowdem for latinos, alegre for...  people whose last name is Clinton.

by username 2008-11-24 03:24PM | 0 recs
Re: "Not an A list position"

must say i'm uncomfortable with the flipness of dismissing these concerns. nobodies screaming murder, but there is every right and need to bring these issues up as constant reminders to the administration that the critical interest groups will not be forgotten or just given token recognition.

by swissffun 2008-11-25 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: "Not an A list position"

albeit....    i'm not pleased with the messenger here or with the 'women' issue. i can see that the argument taken from these 2 diarists is quite possibly disingenuous.  

by swissffun 2008-11-25 08:44AM | 0 recs
Obama's pragmatism...

...puts consideration of egos second to building the most effective team.  Not that I agree with the Politico piece.  I find it almost as unconvincing as yesterday's diary.  But Obama is not nominating HRC as SoS to placate her and her supporters.  It's not the role he wants her in because she 'deserves' it based on her position in the primaries and national popularity.  It's because he thinks this position would maximize her contribution to the administration.  Doling out positions based first and foremost on insider popularity and loyalty games is exactly what hobbled past administrations.  Sure, there is political motivation for getting Richardson involved in this administration.  But Obama is more concerned with configuring a team where everyone involved plays as much to their strengths as possible.  If you look at Richardson's career and his interests over the years, it seems clear to me that Commerce is one of the best places to maximize his contribution.  And regardless of what this diarist and this Politico piece contend, I hold Commerce as crucial at this historical juncture.

by Strummerson 2008-11-24 02:18PM | 0 recs
point is

people here can debate whether it should exist, the fact is,

the word is out, commerce is not an "a" level appointment,

and this won't stand in the political world.

It can and will be fixed.

Hopefully we won't play the game anymore, and institute merit.

by yellowdem1129 2008-11-24 02:21PM | 0 recs
Re: point is

What should exist?  You omitted a referent and your sentence thus makes no sense.  What is this existent or non-existent "it?"

And how does offering Richardson Commerce fail to acknowledge either his merit or the merit of this position?  And I fail to see what small-minded and superficial thinking about either BR or the Dept. of Commerce adds to the work that needs to be done.

by Strummerson 2008-11-24 02:30PM | 0 recs
Re: point is

And the word is out that all you do yellow is write divisive diaries with a pro right wing slant:

Just some of his history

"gay rights extremists bring us an e-harmony disaster"

"Yes for Obama! Yes for Prop 8"

"On Guns and Gays: fundamental dishonesty"

"obama should stand up to hollywood"

"Obama-Biden heading for a November loss"

"democrat shame: bush rep. promotes better liberal ideas"

"Vouchers can win Obama the Election"

by venician 2008-11-24 02:31PM | 0 recs
Re: point is

That's not quite a Limerick.  Here, let me help you:

The folks wonder if it should be,
Because A-list it's not, they can see.
It's bad politics,
And soon will be fixed.
We'll stop playing the game, hopefully.

by username 2008-11-24 03:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's pragmatism...
You have just written a paragraph as if you actually know what Obama is thinking. Good luck with that. But I can do it too......
Obama had an 'Oh, SHIT' moment when he finally realized that he didn't have a clue how to be a real president and make life or death decisions - he didn't have the knowledge or experience. Crowds that adore him and good speeches from a teleprompter do not decisions make. Or a president make.
So, thank God, he did realize that if he was going to succeed he had to have smart knowledgeable people around him. And Richardson, the loose cannon, is not one of the best. Hopefully Hillary and Bill are giving him some advice.
by Marjoriest 2008-11-24 05:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's pragmatism...

And another deadender returns!

by venician 2008-11-24 07:14PM | 0 recs
not only that why would he want to reward a

"Judas" - if he could do what he did to the Clintons for his own political ambitions after the Clintons gave him his start, what is to say that he wouldn't turn on Obama as well? The snake got what he deserved!

by suzieg 2008-11-25 01:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's pragmatism...

The person who voted for Sarah Palin talking to us about knowledge or experience. Is Africa a country, btw?

So very cute you are. Run along now.

by Aris Katsaris2 2008-11-25 01:47AM | 0 recs
maybe he's saving

the a-list position for j-lo.

very amusing big-yello.

by citizendave 2008-11-24 02:31PM | 0 recs
The messenger, not the message.

Maybe the message isn't the problem, it's the messenger. And quoting what was once CW from Politico fails to take into account  Commerce will have a far larger role in his economy than in previous administrations. Also you and Politico both fail to take into account that maybe just maybe Bill wants this position or he would have turned it down.

Finally, you belittle Richardson by demeaning his future position in the administration.

by jsfox 2008-11-24 02:37PM | 0 recs
Maybe Obama does not trust Judas Richardson

Afterall, he is supposed to have said to Bill Clinton that he will not endorse Obama. Does Obama want a disloyal person as a secretary of state. Probably not.

by ann0nymous 2008-11-24 02:49PM | 0 recs
Bill Richardson is no A-lister,

in anything, especially Presidential politics, following his absolutely miserable shot at the nomination. I almost believe he ran just to say to his kids and grandkids "yea, I ran for President." Also, political treachery does not make for a good impression. Obama realizes this. There are plenty of good Latinos that could get A-list positions, especially on the Supreme Court, as Obama could make a pick from the judges Bill Clinton appointed who are still on the bench.

by Lakrosse 2008-11-24 03:00PM | 0 recs
Sonia Sotomayor

is a likely choice.  She's kinda old though.

by JJE 2008-11-24 03:22PM | 0 recs
she's not old at all,

she's only 54, which is very young for a SCOTUS candidate. That means at least another 25 years on the bench.

by Lakrosse 2008-11-24 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: she's not old at all,

That's probably a reasonable age, but I wouldn't automatically assume that a justice would remain on the bench until 80.  I'd prefer someone in their mid-40's, if possible.

by rfahey22 2008-11-24 03:42PM | 0 recs

The GOOPers have explicitly been trying to pack the courts with judges as young as they can get 'em.  We need to do the same.

by JJE 2008-11-24 06:45PM | 0 recs
Re: This

I'm glad the Galapagos Tortoise in the room has finally been acknowledged! Why hasn't Obama got a representative number of Senior Citizens in A List Cabinet positions????

(Did anyone see where I left my teeth?)

by QTG 2008-11-25 02:36AM | 0 recs
I want QTG on the cabinet. H/She will represent

the minority community comprising of him/herself, myself and other MyDDers who care to join in...

Do you think President Obama would kindly consider to nominate QTG in his cabinet?

by louisprandtl 2008-11-25 07:18AM | 0 recs
Just remembered that there were some

rumors about sexual harrassment about him from his female staff!

by suzieg 2008-11-25 01:34AM | 0 recs
too bad none of those cases

had merit when brought to trial. Richardson has never been brought to trial about this kind of thing. I don't think he should. That being said, politically, he is a loser. His presidential run was at best abysmal, and he engaged in political treachery, which Obama is not even going to reward, because he knows doing so would be political idiocy. I don't think the Clintons are the only ones in the party who don't trust him. How do we know Richardson won't act on the bench the same way he acted to the Clintons? He would be our David Souter.

by Lakrosse 2008-11-25 04:58AM | 0 recs
owe nothing?

he owes nearly his entire political career to the Clintons. They moved him from the House to the Cabinet, two high level cabinet positions. No one is saying he can't endorse anyone he wants, but we are saying he showed personal moral turpitude, by not showing personal loyalty to those who helped him out in life. Its not like the Clintons wanted him to do something evil, like lead us into Iraq. No one was calling for that kind of loyalty. Hillary believed she'd be the better nominee, and the exit polls showed she would have won by a bigger margin, and 52-41-5(not voting) translates into 55-43, a massive landslide in every sense.

And no I will not stop referring to them as the Clintons, as they are a package and a team, and they make no bones about it.

by Lakrosse 2008-11-25 06:00AM | 0 recs
Let's not refight these fhings. Bill Richardson

actually was running against HRC during primaries before deciding to drop out. So he already decided oppose her long before his endorsement of Obama. Now when he decided to endorse Obama over HRC later, that was his purely decision. I don't think we can question his right to make his own endorsement. However we can question his capabilities in conflict mediation which are important for international negotiations. He burnt his bridges with the Clintons, who were his long term backers, by the way he went about doing the endorsement. His CM skills served him poorly through the process. I suggest he give Ury, Fisher & Patton a quick visit....

by louisprandtl 2008-11-25 07:34AM | 0 recs
its a matter of trust,

I mean who would trust a man like Richardson after what he did? Yes he ran against Hillary, but thats one thing. Being that he dropped out, he had a moral duty to endorse her, if he wasn't running against her. The things he said about them, "clinging to the throne" and "entitled" were disgusting. If I were Obama, I wouldn't trust such a man at SoS. And he doesn't trust Judas either.

by Lakrosse 2008-11-25 07:54AM | 0 recs
I think if Richardson was a good conflict

negotiator, he would have found a better way for endorsing Obama without alineating Clintons. Yes his comments about Clintons were deliberate and hurtful. But then so was James Carville.

by louisprandtl 2008-11-25 08:02AM | 0 recs
Carville said it best

that Richardson sold the Clintons out. No one ever said Carville should be Secretary of State, or Secretary of anything.

by Lakrosse 2008-11-25 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: too bad none of those cases

"he is a loser. His presidential run was at best abysmal, and he engaged in polical treachery",

Couldn't the same be said of Hillary?

by venician 2008-11-25 08:21AM | 0 recs
not at all,

as Hillary won near as many or more votes than Obama, and came within delegates of the nomination. She didn't come near dead last in every contest, or withdraw before Super Tuesday like Judas.

by Lakrosse 2008-11-25 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: not at all,

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

by venician 2008-11-25 08:27AM | 0 recs
she was better than

Bill Richardson's campaign, for sure. She was a contender, Bill Richardson was a pretender. and a Judas.

by Lakrosse 2008-11-25 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: she was better than

Still bitter after all this time!

by venician 2008-11-25 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: she was better than

Did Alegre shut her site down or something? It seems like the poomas have returned en masse lately, and even the most entertainingly delusional ones are posting with impunity.

I apparently had my rating ability pulled for no reason. I wonder if others did to, to make it safe for his friends to return.

by BobzCat 2008-11-26 08:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Richardson at Commerce:

as a gay latino,
I just can't fathom why El Señor Amarillo bothers to post here... I am pretty much middle of the road politically but find that all your remarks are intended to stir the pot and create confrontation.

Just stop speaking for any group at all and admit yo prejudice. If Richardson felt it was demotion and something not tho his benefit, he would not have accepted (if this rumors are true). Does Obama have to cater to ALL hispanics, 'cause we are not all THE SAME.

Let Presidente Obama put people he feel are good for the job and lets talk in 1 year.

DIos Mío!

by el mito 2008-11-24 03:02PM | 0 recs
All brown?

Does Obama have to cater to ALL hispanics, 'cause we are not all THE SAME.

I'm not hispanic, but this business of throwing all hispanics in the same pile amuses and infuriates me to no end.  What do Cuban refugees, Central American immigrant workers, and the descendants of Spanish settlers in the Southwest have to do with each other?  They speak the same language, and share some ancestors maybe 500 years back, but our politics in this area are just ridiculous.

It's as if we threw the Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans together and pandered to the "epicanthic fold vote."  Oh, wait...  we do that too.  

by username 2008-11-24 03:37PM | 0 recs
actually it is chinese, japanese, koreans,

filipino, malayasians, vietnamese, indians, pakistanis et al.

Somehow in the bizzaro World of US Government sociographers, Asians living in the continent of Asia are actually a race.

by louisprandtl 2008-11-25 07:39AM | 0 recs
Richardson at Commerce

Go away, why are you posting this again? Clearly Richardson wants this job otherwise he would go back to New Mexico and serve out his second term as Governor. Enough of this A, B, C, bull crap.

by RJEvans 2008-11-24 03:25PM | 0 recs
If I were Obama

I'd give Richardson Interior, and try to get Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins to take Commerce to obtain that extra Democrat in the Senate.  

Mitch McConnell is a skilled obstructionist, and the fewer pawns he has to play with, the better chance for passing Obama's agenda.  The Dems were very very smart (and I don't just say this because he is my political idol) to retain Lieberman.

by ClintoniteNoLonger4McCain 2008-11-24 05:01PM | 0 recs
Obama doesn't have enough Gays in his cabinet

is Barney Frank the only openly Gay person that could service in Obama's cabinet? I think not.

I think Obama needs to select Ellen for Commerce and Elton John (an ex-Clinton supporter) for UN Ambassador....

by nikkid 2008-11-24 05:33PM | 0 recs
Thanks for that...

As a gay man of a certain age, myself, I love me some Barney Frank, but the image of him "servicing in Obama's cabinet" is disturbing.

by sgary 2008-11-24 07:25PM | 0 recs
Even a dead

clock is right twice a day. Even the sophist guesses right. Just because you find an article which doesn't explicitly express Richardson's view on this it can only be taken as conjecture. But facts never got in your way of trying twisting reality.

by SocialDem 2008-11-24 06:20PM | 0 recs

Jonathan Martin?

are you fucking kidding? he's a fucking moron.

lord knows, i wouldn't take that twats opinion for a piece of shit.

by theninjagoddess 2008-11-24 10:27PM | 0 recs
Hey Rush ....

have your anti psychotics run out again?

Or did you not get that good squishy feeling you were looking for between your toes the first time you plopped this pile of crap here and stepped in it?

by emsprater 2008-11-25 05:13AM | 0 recs

Sorry but this post is kind of bozo.  The Commerce dept. handles patents and digital music download rights.  

Not sure its such a demotion . Probably better than my job.

by Trey Rentz 2008-11-25 05:46AM | 0 recs
Obama is doing ok so far

Secretary of Commerce during a great deression type event may be a much larger role than normal.

I am not a Richardson fan but his wagon is best hitched to Obama as he has no national future on his own.

He has shown greater support to Obama than to his previous Clinton team and no other team will want to pick him up because of it.

He is stuck either solo as a politician who lost his "base" to Hillary massively during the primary.


As an Obama sidekick who may get lucky and get promoted if him and Obama really are tight.

From what I have seen of Obama so far he is more concerned with getting the power players to the power positions regardless of who's team they are on which I like.

For Obama to have so many Clinton team members on his team after calling Clinton the past is a political risk and the level of loyalty is probably lower from these Clinton folk than  it would have been from the huffington or kos crowd.

Kudos to Obama for making the best call for the country over those who have been friendly but have no real get it done ability.

by dtaylor2 2008-11-25 08:52AM | 0 recs
Richardson at Commerce

Listen, Richardson loves foreign affairs. Now, instead of State he gets Commerce, which, guess what, oversees the International Trade Administration.

Richardson WANTS this job otherwise he would not have taken it, so stop trying to make something of it.

Do your research on what these Departments do before you make a baseless judgment.

by RJEvans 2008-11-25 09:47PM | 0 recs


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