Posts Tagged ‘Bill Richardson’

Déjà vu : Senator Judd Gregg Withdraws Nomination for Commerce Secretary

February 12, 2009

Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) has just withdrawn his nomination for the position of Commerce Secretary.  This is breaking news coming in now, but there’s not yet word on the reason behind it.

Just in – there are 2 reasons:

  1. He is unhappy with the economic stimulus package.
  2. He is unhappy that the census moved from being controlled by the Commerce Department to the White House.

So, President Obama is going to have to AGAIN find another person for Secretary of Commerce (since Governor Bill Richardson [D-NM]).  I’ll try to update this when there’s more information.

UPDATE:

Here’s what Obama said during an interview on Air Force One:

“Judd is a good man.  And I think that he sincerely wanted to work with us.  I think he had a change of heart on the idea of leaving the Senate.  [Gregg is] somebody that we’re going to work with on issues like fiscal responsibility, the fiscal summit that’s coming up.  And the one thing I want to make sure of is that people don’t take from this the notion that we can’t get Democrats and Republicans working together.  I’m going to keep on working at this, and eventually, we are going to break down some of these barriers because the American people need it.  They are desperate for us to find common ground.”

He was then asked, “What do you see in terms of common ground potential that perhaps we in the media do not?”

Obama: “I’m an eternal optimist.  I can tell you, generally speaking, Judd Gregg and I agree on 80% of things that matter to the American people.  There’s 20% that we disagree on.  I’ve always felt that we can find areas to work on that we share, and then have a vigorous, heated debate on some of the things that we don’t.  And I think we’re going to get there. [Gregg and I] had a discussion over the last couple days.  I wasn’t sure whether he had made a final decision or not.  But clearly, you know, I think he was just having second thoughts about leaving the Senate, a place where he’s thrived and been there for a long time.  You know I think the one thing I give him credit for is having searched his heart before he took on the job because obviously you don’t want somebody having a change of heart after they have been confirmed and are in the process of building a team.”

Answering a question about when he realized Gregg had reached a final decision, Obama said: “Today.  Look, this kind of thing happens all the time, people change their minds.  Just usually there aren’t a lot of reporters around when it happens.”

And here’s a press release that Gregg issued:

“I want to thank the President for nominating me to serve in his Cabinet as Secretary of Commerce.  This was a great honor, and I had felt that I could bring some views and ideas that would assist him in governing during this difficult time.  I especially admire his willingness to reach across the aisle.

“However, it has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me.  Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns.  We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.

“Obviously the President requires a team that is fully supportive of all his initiatives.

“I greatly admire President Obama and know our country will benefit from his leadership, but at this time I must withdraw my name from consideration for this position.

“As we move forward, I expect there will be many issues and initiatives where I can and will work to assure the success of the President’s proposals.  This will certainly be a goal of mine.

“Kathy and I also want to specifically thank Governor Lynch and Bonnie Newman for their friendship and assistance during this period.  In addition we wish to thank all the people, especially in New Hampshire, who have been so kind and generous in their supportive comments.

“As a further matter of clarification, nothing about the vetting process played any role in this decision.  I will continue to represent the people of New Hampshire in the United States Senate.

And here’s what he said in an interview right after the news broke that he was withdrawing:

I regret that due to the impending Senate schedule involving the potential of dealing with an extremely large stimulus package, coupled with the ongoing issues of developing fiscal policy relative to the budget and the continuing economic downturn and my responsibility for foreign operations appropriations, it has become difficult to continue service on the TARP oversight board.  I have advised Senator McConnell I will need to step aside from this effort.

Gregg, also a ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, said that even though he is leaving TARP, he will continue to work with the panel.

I will continue to be involved in ongoing TARP discussions and oversight, and will work to ensure that TARP funding remains focused and targeted in order to stabilize our economy and protect consumers.

Alright, so there’s the press releases / comments that were issued.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Bill Richardson Withdraws Nomination for Commerce Secretary Amidst Corruption Allegations

January 4, 2009

Well, apparently I came back from vacation to quite a busy news day – Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) has withdrawn his nomination to be Obama’s Secretary of Commerce.  Richardson, meanwhile, will keep his position of governor while he’s facing a federal grand jury investigation.  That investigation involves allegations that he exchanged government contracts for contributions to three of his political committees.  Richardson denies that he did anything wrong, but the investigation won’t be finished before he has to go to a Senate confirmation hearing, and that could delay his confirmation.  Richardson put out the following statement:

For nearly three decades, I have been honored to serve my state and our nation in Congress, at the U.N., as Secretary of Energy and as governor. So when the President-elect asked me to serve as Secretary of Commerce, I felt a duty to answer the call. I felt that duty particularly because America is facing such extraordinary economic challenges. The Department of Commerce must play an important role in solving them by helping to grow the new jobs and businesses America so badly needs.

It is also because of that sense of urgency about the work of the Commerce Department that I have asked the President-elect not to move forward with my nomination at this time. I do so with great sorrow. But a pending investigation of a company that has done business with New Mexico state government promises to extend for several weeks or, perhaps, even months.

Let me say unequivocally that I and my Administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact. But I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process. Given the gravity of the economic situation the nation is facing, I could not in good conscience ask the President-elect and his Administration to delay for one day the important work that needs to be done.

So, for now, I will remain in the job I love, Governor of New Mexico, and will continue to work every day, with Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish, to make a positive difference in the lives of New Mexicans. I believe she will be a terrific governor in the future. I appreciate the confidence President-elect Obama has shown in me, and value our friendship and working partnership. I told him that I am eager to serve in the future in any way he deems useful. And like all Americans, I pray for his success and the success of our beloved country.

And the following is President-Elect Obama’s statement:

It is with deep regret that I accept Governor Bill Richardson’s decision to withdraw his name for nomination as the next Secretary of Commerce. Governor Richardson is an outstanding public servant and would have brought to the job of Commerce Secretary and our economic team great insights accumulated through an extraordinary career in federal and state office. It is a measure of his willingness to put the nation first that he has removed himself as a candidate for the Cabinet in order to avoid any delay in filling this important economic post at this critical time. 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.

So, there you go – the New Mexicans get stuck with an allegedly corrupt Governor, Obama is without a Commerce Secretary, and he is stuck in the middle of yet another pay-and-play scandal.  He really has not had much good luck since getting elected.

I’ll continue to follow this story (as well as the Blagojevich story).  I think that we’ll probably have news on the Blagojevich story sooner though, since it looks like this investigation could take a while.

Honestly, I’m kinda getting tired of hearing about all these corrupt politicians.  Why can’t Americans just have some good civil servants for a while?  Holding office should be about helping your country, not about lining your pockets.

I wonder, if he is cleared of any wrongdoing, and Obama is reelected, if Obama will put him in his 2012 cabinet.  Only time will tell (but I hope Obama isn’t reelected – 4 years of Obama will be too much anyway).

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Hillary Clinton to Be Secretary of State; Bill Richardson to be Secretary of Commerce

November 21, 2008

This has just broke in.  We’ve been suspecting it all day, but today, sources have just confirmed that Hillary Clinton (D-NY) has been offered the position of Secretary of State by President-Elect Obama, and a source close to Senator Clinton has confirmed that she is expected to accept the position.

Meanwhile, Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) has been chosen to be the Secretary of Commerce.

Now, personally (and my liberal roommate agrees), I think that Richardson should’ve been made Secretary of State.  After all, he was the Ambassador to the United Nations.  I think that Richardson would’ve brought more to the table than Clinton will.

But, Secretary of State is a higher position than Secretary of Commerce, so Obama probably did this to appease Clinton.  This definitely keeps her in the spotlight, and we may see a Clinton Presidential run again in 2016 (or 2012 if you believe the crazy Clinton followers who think she’ll challenge Obama in a primary).

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Associated Press Releases Comments from Undecided Superdelegates

April 20, 2008

Today, the Associated Press released comments from 10 Superdelegates who have said that they do not yet know who they’ll cast their vote for at the convention.  Here they are with my analysis of them, comment-by-comment.

“The pitches are surprisingly similar, although the Obama people tout their successes in terms of pledged delegates, states won and popular vote. The Clinton people tout her alleged electability.” — Keith Roark of Idaho [Roark is the Idaho Democratic Party Chairman].

I pretty much agree with this one.  Although, I don’t think that Clinton’s electability is better than Obama’s, and I find it funny that Roark adds the word “alleged” when describing her electability.

“Obama supporters want me to declare right now, Clinton supporters want me to wait. A month ago it was the opposite.” — Wayne Kinney of Oregon.

He’s got a point here.  As soon as Obama reaches the magical number, I think Dean will push for Clinton to drop out.  What Clinton would want to do at that point is try to convince some Obama delegates to vote for her at the convention.  His statement about “A month ago it was the opposite” reminds me a lot about what Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM-Obama) said when discussing his Obama endorsement.

“I just say firmly I am tired of being spun. My advice is go out and win delegates.” — Rep. Rick Larsen of Washington.

Again, this reminds me a lot of what Richardson said when discussing his endorsement.

“I’m going to look at the popular vote, the electoral vote and the number of states that each candidate has won. After that (intelligence), I’m going to look at what the climate is of the party.” — Inola Henry of California.

This one seems like there’s going to be a LOT of factors in making a decision.  It reminds me of a question that Wolf Blitzer asked Howard Dean in his recent interview.

“It’s very important, who has the most delegates. The superdelegates should not be the ones making the decision.” — Linda Chavez-Thompson of Texas [She is the Democratic National Committee Vice-Chair].

She’ll be for Obama then – because I DOUBT Clinton can take the lead without Superdelegate help.

“I’m in a Clinton state. Obama seems to be ahead. I’m not going to move to vote for anybody until Clinton has a chance to do everything that she can do.” — Don Bivens of Arizona [He is the Arizona Democratic Party Chairman].

It sounds like he’s a Clinton supporter, but he doesn’t want to vote for Clinton if it would hurt the party too much.  I think he’ll go for Clinton.

“I think it’s critical that we not be perceived as a group of party elites coming in at the end of the process overturning the will of the people.” — Rep. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania.

Obama vote.

“The single most important criterion is backing the candidate who represents the will of the people, but we won’t know who that is until the nominating cycle has concluded.” — Ed Espinoza of California.

You’d better vote for Obama then, because if he loses, you’ll lose more voters come November than you will if Clinton loses.

“The party created superdelegates to keep the process on track, moving toward the selection of a nominee who will be a good candidate and a good president. I have a job when the process starts to get off track, and so far it hasn’t.” — Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey.

Sounds like an Obama vote to me.

“I hope we don’t get to a point where the superdelegates are deciding the election.” _ Rep. Harry Mitchell of Arizona.

I’m not sure if this was included as one of the undecided quotes or not, since it was in italics.  But, according to the Wikipedia list, he’s undecided.  This sounds like another Obama vote to me.

So, there you have it.  A look into the mind of undecided Superdelegates of the Democratic Party (scary, I know).

I still think it’ll be Obama as the nominee, but I’ll keep hoping it’s Clinton.  Keep up the infighting you 2!

Done Quoting,

Ranting Republican
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Bill Richardson on Pressure from Clinton: “That Really Ticked Me Off”

April 13, 2008

Yesterday, Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM-Obama) discussed his endorsement for Barack Obama with reporters:

He told reporters that he almost endorsed Clinton, but waited a little longer to see how things played out, and as the infighting increased, Richardson became displeased with the party and the candidates.  He told reporters “That upset me” when talking about Clinton’s 3 A.M. ad.

Richardson said that he began getting calls from the Clinton camp, saying that Richardson owed Clinton the endorsement since resident Clinton had Richardson on his cabinet, saying “That really ticked me off.”

But Richardson, a former candidate himself, would be a powerful endorsement to whoever he gave his support, so “the pursuit was pretty relentless on both sides.”

He finally decided that he didn’t owe the Clintons anymore: “I was loyal.  But I don’t think that loyalty is transferable to his wife. … You don’t transfer loyalty to a dynasty.”

Art Torres, the California Democratic Party chairman and a friend of President Clinton and Bill Richardson said, “They’re very similar in personality.  There was a bond established, and I think [President Clinton] feels a little hurt.”

An anonymous associate of President Clinton earlier told reporters that “I think [Bill Richardson] really owes a big chunk of his success and his career to the Clintons.”  Richardson responded, “Look, I was a successful congressman rescuing hostages before I was appointed.  I was a governor afterward, elected on my own.”

Richardson had previously watch the Super Bowl with President Clinton.  He discussed talking with the former President, saying, “I remember talking to the president and saying, ‘I’m leaning.  But I’m not there yet.’  Sometimes people hear what they want to hear.”

Bill Richardson described how the 2 different sides approached Richardson for an endorsement from 2 different approaches.  He  said that Obama called Richardson about once every 3 days, “dialing the phone himself, no operator,” while the Clinton campaigned called him at least 8 times a day, “Bill calling, Hillary calling, friends of mine that were in the Clinton administration, Clinton operatives, Clinton Hispanic operatives, New Mexico Clinton Hispanic operatives.”  Richardson said that the callers who made Richardson feel like he owed it to the Clintons did more harm than good, “I think the Clintons have a feeling of entitlement … that the presidency was theirs.”

Richardson said that he actually began to really like Obama while Richardson was still running himself.  “I saw real growth in the guy.  A tremendous growth in policy and expression and experience.”

Richardson told reporters that he was not trying to gain a position in an Obama administration, “I never say never in politics, but I’m not pining for it [the VP nomination].”

So Richardson had made his mind up.  It was time to call Hillary and tell her.  He said that their conversation was “was proper but heated,” and that he has not talked with the Clintons since then.  He said that “the ferocity [and] the intensity” from the Clinton campaign since then has surprised him.  With pictures of Richardson and the President still hanging in the Governor’s mansion, Richardson said that “He’s very much a part of my life.”

So, that’s Richardson’s perspective of what all happened.  Meanwhile, the infighting continues, and the Job for John McCain and his staff gets easier.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Clinton Responds to News that She Said, “Obama Cannot Win”

April 3, 2008

Earlier today, ABC broke news that Hillary Clinton told Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM-Obama) before he had endorsed Obama that “He [Obama] cannot win, Bill.  He cannot win.”  This is all coming from somebody who claims to be a source close to the conversation.  The source has also said that at hte time, Richardson said Obama was “too inexperienced.”

Here’s a video of George Stephanopoulos and the account of that conversation:

Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign has said that it was only Richardson who said that Obama couldn’t win.

Since then, Richardson endorsedObama, saying, “My great affection and admiration for Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton will never waver.  It is time, however, for Democrats to stop fighting among ourselves and to prepare for the tough fight we will face against John McCain in the fall.”

Clinton also told the San Francisco Chronicle that “Five times to my face [Richardson] said that he would never do that [endorse Obama.  Richardson] went on a tirade that ran from the media’s unfair treatment of Hillary to questions about the fairness of the votes in state caucuses that voted for Obama.  It ended with him asking delegates to imagine what the reaction would be if Obama was trailing by just 1 percent and people were telling him to drop out.”

And here was Clinton’s response from Burbank, California to allegations that she claimed that Obama can’t win:

So, she never commented on saying that “Obama cannot win,” only that “I can win.”  Only guilty people plead the Fifth!  And since this isn’t a court of law, I can use her “pleading the Fifth” against her, and I will – I think today’s video confirmed that she DID in fact say that “Obama cannot win,” otherwise, she WOULD have denied it.

Unfortunately, she’s killing her chances of staying in much longer, and that means a stop to the infighting.  Hopefully Obama will make another mistake soon and put her back in the running!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Bill Richardson: Clinton “Has Every Right to Stay in the Race”

March 30, 2008

Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM-Obama) has joined the growing number of people involved in the “Clinton Should Quit” Controversy (which I’ve made a category for, so that I don’t have to keep linking to each separate post) said the following when he appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation earlier today: “I think the race should continue.  She has every right to stay in the race.  She’s run a very good campaign.  There’s 10 primaries to go.  They end June 3rd [Montana and South Dakota].  But I think it’s important that, at the end of the June 3rd date, we look at who has the most delegates, who has the most popular vote, who has the most states.  And I personally believe that Senator Obama is reaching a stage where his lead is insurmountable.”

So he’s pretty much taken the position that Obama has – she can stay in up until the beginning of June, when it will be obvious that Barack SHOULD be the winner, unless the Superdelegates mess things up (one can only hope for such a joyous event – Democrats messing things up?  NEVER!).

Like I keep saying, this will destroy the Democratic party for at least another election if they keep this up, and it will certainly give John McCain an all but guaranteed win come November.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Bill Richardson Just Endorsed Barack Obama

March 21, 2008

This just came in through the Associated Press, a statement from Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM): “I believe he is the kind of once-in-a-lifetime leader that can bring our nation together and restore America’s moral leadership in the world.”

Why on earth is he making endorsements at 1:45 A.M. local time?  My roommate, Livid Liberal, suggested some possible drunk dialing.

Whatever the reason, it’s official – Richardson is for Obama.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Final Mississippi Primary Results: Obama & McCain Won

March 14, 2008

OK, I know they’re a little late, but I got kinda busy, so here are the official uncertified Mississippi primary results with all of the precincts reporting:

Democrats:

  1. Obama 255,809 60.80% 19 delegates
  2. Clinton 155,686 37.00% 14 delegates
  3. Edwards 3,894 0.93%
  4. Biden 1,784 0.42%
  5. Richardson 1,365 0.32%
  6. Kucinich 895 0.21%
  7. Dodd 731 0.17%
  8. Gravel 587 0.14%

And the Republicans:

  1. McCain 113,074 78.91% 36 delegates
  2. Huckabee 17,943 12.52%
  3. Paul 5,510 3.85%
  4. Romney 2,177 1.52%
  5. Thompson 2,160 1.51%
  6. Giuliani 945 0.66%
  7. Keyes 842 0.58%
  8. Hunter 414 0.29%
  9. Tancredo 221 0.15%

Now, can anybody help me understand what exactly happened in Noxubee county?  These results are correct – a friend called the county clerk and verified them, but they had no clue what went on here either:

  1. McCain 181 44.04%
  2. Thompson 47 11.44%
  3. Tancredo 40 9.73%
  4. Romney 37 9.00%
  5. Paul 34 8.27%
  6. Huckabee 24 5.84%
  7. Keyes 23 5.60%
  8. Hunter 16 3.89%
  9. Giuliani 9 2.19%

Again – those are some WEIRD results – the only county in Mississippi that McCain didn’t at least get 70% in.  If we have a resident of Noxubee, I would LOVE your input!

Done Reporting/Counting,

Ranting Republican
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New Mexico Democratic Caucus Update as of February 6th: Still No Winner

February 7, 2008

Here are the numbers from the Democratic Party of New Mexico, updated on February 6th at 10:28 P.M., with 183/184 sites reporting (these numbers do not include provisional ballots cast which have amounted to 17,077 ballots):

  1. Clinton 67,921 48.981%
  2. Obama 66,892 48.240%
  3. Edwards 2,049 1.478%
  4. Richardson 1,206 0.870%
  5. Uncommitted 415 0.300%
  6. Biden 113 0.081%
  7. Dodd 70 0.050%

Considering that we’re still waiting on 1 more precinct and possibly over 17,000 votes (although it certainly won’t be that many), this race is STILL too close to call, and will be until the last vote is in.
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