Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Bill Richardson for Secretary of Commerce?

The latest leak from Team Obama is that Bill Richardson will be nominated to be Secretary of Commerce. I would have preferred to see him as Secretary of State, but since that position is no longer open, Commerce is about all that is left for him that makes any sense and that he has not done before.

One question I have is whether P-E Barack Obama will consider Commerce to be part of his core economic team. For example, should Commerce be driving the planning for any fiscal assistance to corporations such as Detroit? I think they should, but I am not in charge.

I also think that Commerce should be leading the charge on "smart" regulation, figuring out how to rewrite federal regulations on businesses to work better and be less expensive and restrictive at the same time.

One logical fiefdom for Richardson would be promotion of U.S. economic interests around the globe. That intersects with Hillary's fiefdom, but she will probably have her hands full with security and social programs at State.

Presumably, Richardson will be looking after promotion of U.S. exports, trade policy, and international economic agreements.

In any case, I think he is qualified for the job and will probably bring enough energy to the job to effectively make Commerce a legitimate and productive part of the economic team even if it is not today.

-- Jack Krupansky


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