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Obama's Cabinet
Secretary of Commerce - Bill Richardson (Unofficial)
12.1.08, 03:08 PM CST
8 of 10
‹‹ Secretary of HHS - Tom Daschle (Unofficial) Ambassador to the United Nations - Susan Rice (Announced) ››

Currently serving his second term as Governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson began his career in public service in 1982 after winning election to the newly created 3rd district in New Mexico. After serving 14 years in the House of Representatives, Mr. Richardson was tapped in 1997 by President Bill Clinton to become the US Ambassador to the United Nations.

Mr. Richardson served at the United Nations until the following year, when President Clinton appointed him to his cabinet as the U.S. Secretary of Energy. During his brief tenure at Energy, Mr. Richardson was embroiled in the Wen Ho Lee espionage scandal. Lee, a naturalized citizen from Taiwan working at the Los Alamos weapons research facility, was accused of spying for the Chinese. Lee was fired from his job in 1999 and spent nine months in solitary confinement. He was eventually released, the espionage charges were dropped, and he won a $1.6 million settlement from the US governement.

After leaving his post at Energy, Mr. Richardson returned home to New Mexico and mounted a run for governor. He was elected in 2002 with 55% of the vote and reelected in 2006 winning 69% of the vote.

Mr. Richardson earned a Bachelor's Degree from Tufts University in 1970 and a Master's Degree from the Tufts' Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1971.

In January 2007, Mr. Richardson announced as a Democratic candidate for President of the United States, making him the first Hispanic to seek the nation's highest office. Mr. Richardson dropped out on January 10, 2008, after finishing 4th in the Iowa Cacuses with 2.1% of the vote and 4th in the New Hampshire primary with 4.6% of the vote. Despite his long association with the Clintons, Mr. Richardson endorsed Barack Obama on March 21 of 2008.

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‹‹ Secretary of HHS - Tom Daschle (Unofficial) Ambassador to the United Nations - Susan Rice (Announced) ››