Posted Dec. 4, 2008 – President-elect Barack Obama named New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as Commerce secretary on Wednesday, placing a second former campaign rival in his new Cabinet, The Associated Press reports.
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"We have everything we need to renew our economy; we have the ingenuity and technology, the skill and commitment — we just need to put it to work," Obama said during his announcement, sounding a hopeful tone about the economy.
The president-elect called Richardson a leading "economic diplomat for America. During his time in state government and Congress, and in two tours of duty in the Cabinet, Bill has seen from just about every angle what makes our economy work and what keeps it from working better."
Richardson, 61, was United Nations ambassador and energy secretary during the Clinton administration, and he is in his second term as New Mexico's governor. He also served seven terms in the House of Representatives. If confirmed, Richardson would head up the massive department that oversees the National Weather Service, the Census Bureau, economic development programs and more.