"New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, tapped in December by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as secretary of Commerce, has withdrawn his name for the position, citing a pending investigation into a company that has done business with his state."
"Possible candidates for the job include Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sibelius -- who was suggested for a number of senior Obama administration posts but has yet to be nominated for any -- and Scott Harris, managing partner of the Washington DC law firm Harris, Wiltshire and Grannis who is an expert in trade issues."
Editor's note: Long known as a fan of commercial space, Richardson's withdrawal could be problematic for commercial space given that another name (among others) rumored to have been under consideration by Obama for a cabinet post was Rep. James Oberstar. In stark contrast to Richardson, Oberstar often deliberately worked against enabling legislation and regulation to facilitate space commercialization via the FAA. That said, odds are that Obama would pick a heavy hitter and known performer for Commerce given the sad state of the economy right now. And of course, space commerce is certainly not an issue involved in any part of the decision making process. Stay tuned.