Bill Richardson Withdraws from Consideration for Commerce Secretary
1:35 PM, Jan 4, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
The Obama transition train just keeps on chugging down the tracks to Smoothville, huh?
Richardson denies wrongdoing, but doesn't want to delay the Commerce Department's work while he's under investigation, he said. Obama issued a statement saying he accepted Richardson's decision with "deep regret."
The Politico offers this assessment of the withdrawal, from which I can only conclude its writers and editors are suffering from an aggressive form of professional amnesia that omits only new stories that happen in Chicago and are damaging to Barack Obama. It's an affliction that affected much of the press corps during the campaign, and is proving resistant to treatment by reality in a post-election political environment:
Even if one doesn't count Blagojevich's sins against Obama, surely the involvement of the names of Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett in the investigation is a blemish. If not that, perhaps Obama's clumsy handling of the scandal, for which the Politico itself has criticized him. Then there's Blago's appointment of Burris, and the predicament now facing Senate Dems, which could conceivably have been avoided had Obama insisted forcefully on a special election. And, finally, the row over his pick of Rick Warren for his invocation at inauguration. Obama should not take all the blame for every political mishap in his party during his transition period, but to say the public face has been exceedingly smooth?
Yes, smooth, like the public face of a high-school marching band without a dermatologist.