Bill Richardson as Commerce Secretary

Good morning everybody. Last week, Vice President-elect Biden and I began the process of announcing our economic team. Today, we are pleased to name another key member of this team: our nominee for Secretary of Commerce, my great friend, Governor Bill Richardson. With each passing day, the work our team has begun, developing plans to revive our economy, becomes more urgent. Earlier this week, we learned that the U.S. economy has been in recession since December of 2007 and that our manufacturing output is at a 26 year low — two stark reminders of the magnitude of the challenges we face. But while I know rebuilding our economy won’t be easy — and it won’t happen overnight — I also know this: right now, somewhere in America, a small business is at work with the next big idea. A scientist is on the cusp of the next big breakthrough discovery. An entrepreneur is sketching plans for the startup that will revolutionize an industry. Right now, across America, the finest products in the world are rolling off our assembly lines. And the proudest, most determined, most productive workers in the world are on the job – some, already on their second shift of the day; many, putting in longer hours than ever before. After nearly two years of traveling across this country, meeting with workers, visiting businesses large and small, I am more confident than ever that we have everything we need to renew our economy we’ve got the ingenuity and technology, the skill and commitment — we just need to put it to work. It’s time to not just address the immediate economic threats, but to start laying the groundwork for long-term prosperity — to help American businesses grow and thrive at home, and expand our efforts to promote American enterprise around the world. This work is the core mission of the Secretary of Commerce. And with his breadth and depth of experience in public life, Governor Richardson is uniquely suited for this role as 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. As Governor of New Mexico, Bill showed how government can act as a partner to support our businesses, helping to create 80,000 new jobs. And under his leadership, New Mexico saw the lowest unemployment rate in decades. As a former Secretary of Energy, Bill understands the steps we must take to build a new, clean-energy industry and create the green jobs of the twenty-first century. Jobs that pay well and won’t be outsourced — jobs that will help us end our dependence on foreign oil. And as a former Ambassador to the United Nations, Bill brings both international stature and a deep understanding of today’s global economy. He understands that the success of today’s business in Detroit or Columbus often depends on whether it can sell products in places like Santiago or Shanghai. And he knows that America’s reputation in the world is critical not just to our security, but to our prosperity — that when the citizens of the world respect America’s leadership, they are more likely to buy America’s products. To this crucial work of restoring America’s international standing, Bill will bring a leadership style all his own. Bill has never been content to learn just from briefing books — never satisfied with only the official version of the story. During his time in Congress, he held more than 2,500 town-hall meetings, so he could hear directly from constituents. He was a regular in the U.N. cafeteria, mixing it up with U.N. employees over lunch. And during his 2002 campaign for Governor, he actually broke a world record by shaking nearly 14,000 hands in just eight hours. I’ve got to check that statistic. All of this reflects a determination to reach out and understand where people are coming from, what they hope for, and what he can do to help. This approach, I believe, has been the key to Bill’s success as a negotiator and will be key to his work on the critical functions of the Commerce Department — from administering our census and monitoring our climate to protecting our intellectual property and restoring our economic diplomacy. In the end, Bill Richardson is a leader who shares my values — and he measures progress the same way I do. Are we creating good jobs, instead of losing them? Are incomes growing, instead of shrinking? I know Bill will be an unyielding advocate for American business and American jobs, at home and around the world. And I look forward to working with him in the years ahead.

42 thoughts on “Bill Richardson as Commerce Secretary

  1. A very capable man who has influence in the business world, political world and has a great track record. He is fluent in Spanish and English.

  2. I wonder: Do these cabinet guys need to interview for their new jobs? Or does the president elect just point to a guy and pick him? Do they have to be politicians? I assume Obama knows what he's doing; I'm not questioning that, but I am curious to know the process that leads up to the job offer.

  3. Bill Richardson should have been nominated to be Secretary of State. This is the only nomination that bothers me so far, and I think the other ones were very fortunate and wise…

  4. Me, too!!! He has much more Foreign Policy experience than Hillary. And SHE should've been in charge of Health and Human Services where she would've been a better fit.

  5. because studies have shown that for some reason people associate those with deviant behaviour and untrustworthiness. When was the last time a president was elected with some serious facial hair? Think of the common image of the devil in american culture, always sporting a nice goatee if not more.

  6. If Hillary wasn't such a factor I'm sure he would have. Barack had to do something with her and putting her inside the administration is probably the best way to ensure she doesn't ankle-bite him in the senate and I can't picture her in any other position.

  7. Join more than 150,000 others in signing WND's online petition calling for release of Barack Obama's birth certificate and verifying beyond any shadow of a doubt his constitutional eligibility for office.

  8. Janet Napolitano Italian woman
    Hillary Clinton another Woman
    Bill Richardson Latino American
    Eric Holder African American
    Raham Emanuel Jewish
    Joe Biden Irish Catholic second to reach high office since JFK.Obama has the most diverse cabinet in American history .All these people with such backgrounds were told in life they could never be president or achieve high office.I hope you recognize Obama is doing the best he can to please everyone.

  9. Yeah, and mccain was a genius. So was bush…. You people had your way for 8 years, and look at the result. If you had your way again, mccain would be elected and half dead. Palin would be president, and the world would be on fire. But i guess you gotta do what your preacher tells you.

  10. WND already verified his birth certificate. That article is conveniently gone now so they can be "on top of the story" to maintain viewership.

  11. Bill Richardson is a man with experience, knowledge and abilities to succeed as secretary of Commerce. Good choice & Good luck!

  12. To our Latin American community thank you for your support and trust. Thank you for your votes for our candidate and now President elect. As he told us "Yes We Can" and our vote has been our voice. This election has shown our strength and our unity. We have to keep fighting for our rights at the same time as we pursue the American Dream for all. To the millions of inhabitants of Latin America and the Caribbean, we must strengthen our ties and remember the importance of a united hemisphere.

  13. That's a quick translation. Hopefully it was approved. Nice touch the words in Spanish, though doubtlessly some less than enlightened folks will consider being fully bilingual somehow a negative trait.

  14. You can add another: Eric Shinseki is Asian.

    Oh and to cheengator, Obama doesn't appoint "token" anything. His only concern is qualification. If you cannot conceive that the most qualified candidate can somehow be non-white or non-male and therefore all minority/female picks are "tokens"…well I encourage you to join the 21st century.

  15. I thought it was great that Mr. Richardson made a brief message for Spanish-speaking constituents. That was cool, and if you understand it, you probably agree.

    Richardson is an excellent choice for this office. I think he would've probably been better utilized as Secretary of State, but I also respect Obama's choice of Clinton for that position. As he still wanted Richardson's voice, this is a good second-best position for him.

  16. Why are people complaining that he spoke Spanish? It's like people think because he spoke Spanish briefly, he's showing his allegiance to Mexico. Wtf? Why Mexico? Why not Spain? Isn't that where Spanish originated from? It's the second most widely spoken language in the U.S. He was speaking in Spanish to recount the racism and oppression Mexicans faced in the earlier years. People caught up in the immigration debate become more than fed up with immigrants – they get fed up with Mexicans as well.

  17. How come all the Democrats are becoming crooks now that the Republicans have no control. Oh wait, they have always been crooks who use a double standard to secure larger and larger power.

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