President Barack Obama has had a hell of a time trying to fill in the Secretary of Commerce seat, with his first two nominees, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Republican Senator Judd Gregg, withdrawing their names prior to confirmation hearings. According to the Washington Post, this opens up the nomination to former Governor of Washington, Gary Locke:
“Locke, a Democrat, spent eight years as the governor of Washington State — from 1996 until 2004 — and before that served stints as the chief executive in King County (Seattle) and in the Washington state House. When he was elected in 1995 Locke became the first — and to date the only — Chinese American to serve as the governor of a state. Locke’s appeal to the White House was threefold, according to those briefed on the decision. First, he built a solid record as governor — including overseeing the rapid growth of the Washington economy. Second, he is well known as a strait-laced politician who has never been weighed down with ethical baggage. Third, he furthers Obama’s commitment to diversity as the third Asian American in the Cabinet.”
If Governor Locke is nominated and confirmed as Secretary of Commerce, he will indeed be the third Asian American in Obama’s cabinent level administration, after General Shinseki of Veteran Affairs and Secretary of Eneergy Steve Chu – which I believe would be a record number of Asian Americans for any presidential cabinet; I’m sure The Daily Show’s news correspondent Aasif Mandvi is disappointed that an Indian wasn’t nominated.
(Flickr photo credit: SCGators7)