Sunday, January 04, 2009

the real richardson issue

richardson won't be commerce secretary. i'm sure those other blogs are talking all about what it means and everything. but let's face it, the question that's really on everyone's mind is whether this incident counts as a cabinet nomination being "withdrawn" in prediction #1 of my 2009 predictions post.

the answer is no. i get off on a technicality. see, richardson wasn't actually nominated yet. under article II, section 2, clause 2 of the constitution the president has the power to "appoint... public ministers... and other officers of the united states", which includes positions like the secretary of commerce. but obama isn't president yet, he's just president-elect. the president-elect doesn't have the power to "appoint" or nominate anyone. all obama can do as president-elect is publicly state his intention to nominate richardson after obama becomes president and thus gets the ability to nominate.

because richardson was never really nominated, today's news isn't technically a withdrawal. instead all that happened was that a few weeks ago obama announced his intentions to pick richardson and richardson indicated that he was interested in the job. then today, richardson said that he didn't want the job anymore and obama said "okay, i guess i'll nominate someone else after january 20th when i get the power to nominate, which i don't have right now because i am still only the president-elect."

that's my position and i'm sticking with it.