Federal Eye: Lessons From Richardson’s Withdrawal

There’s plenty to learn from Gov. Bill Richardson’s (D-N.M.) decision to withdraw his name from consideration as the next secretary of commerce — both about how the nomination process works and about how his decision could impact the near-term operations of the Commerce Department.

The governor apparently withdrew his name because “a grand jury in New Mexico is currently looking into charges of ‘pay-to-play’ in the awarding of a state contract to a company that contributed to Richardson,” reports The Post’s Michael D. Shear. Any cabinet nomination requires the support of key lawmakers and special interest groups and it’s evident that Richardson and Obama aides must have realized that “pay-to-play” allegations similar to those affecting Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.) would hamper his ability get confirmed.

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