New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has withdrawn his name from consideration as commerce secretary for President-elect Barack Obama, citing an ongoing investigation about business dealings in his state.
This is unfortunate (I am a big fan of Richardson's), but it's the right thing to do. Given the ongoing issues with Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, even though that is totally out of the control of Barack Obama or his transition team, it means that any appointments by the president-elect (or other things that they *can* control) need to be beyond reproach.
I'm sure that once he is cleared in this matter, Governor Richardson's stellar career of public service will continue unabated, with a move into the Cabinet or a significant ambassadorship likely (God knows that the the U.S. could use a diplomat of his stature in the Middle East).
While this is a bit of a hiccup, Obama and his team can be comforted by the knowledge that they're going to head into their era with one of the best coming out of the bullpen.