Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Commerce related race war

Bill Richardson was nominated for Secretary of Commerce this morning, after a few days spent weeping over the fact that the position he was eminently qualified for was given to Hillary Clinton. This is not exactly sending a thrill up the legs of the Latino community, who aside from not liking Richardson being passed over, wants more Latinos in Cabinet spots.
the Congressional Hispanic Caucus delivered a letter Tuesday to Obama's transition office recommending a slate of 14 Hispanics for the remaining eight Cabinet slots.

The group's chairman, Representative Joe Baca of California, warned that Obama's agenda could be jeopardized if he doesn't nominate more Latinos. "If it's just one, he’s going to have to answer to a lot of the issues that come before us," Baca told Bloomberg.
Meanwhile Chinese-American groups are angling for less Latino's in the Cabinet, specifically Richardson. Wen Ho Lee still pisses them off.
In a move bound to create political tension between Latinos and Asian-Americans, a group of Chinese-American activists in Silicon Valley has launched a nationwide grass-roots movement to fight President-elect Barack Obama's nomination today of Bill Richardson as commerce secretary.

The group is upset at the New Mexico governor for his handling of the nearly decade-old case of Taiwanese-American Wen Ho Lee, a former nuclear scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. U.S. officials once suspected Lee of giving nuclear secrets to China when Richardson was President Clinton's energy secretary.
The Chinese and Latino advocacy groups are going to do battle over the Commerce Secretary position. Who knew Commerce Secretary was such a contentious and desirable position? Who even knows what the Commerce Secretary even does? Gathering economic and demographic data for business and government decision-making, issuing patents and trademarks, and helping to set industrial standards, plus running the National Weather Service. Definitely worth a massive racial advocacy battle over.

Kind of bizarre that with everything going on in this country right now and with all the people Obama has named, the biggest battle and the most political trouble within his own party is going to come down to giving possibly one of the least important Cabinet positions to an overqualified guy.

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