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Christian Living

chinaconnection 01/05/08

Obama's China Cabinet Controversy Closure

Just weeks ago, many Chinese Americans were extremely disheartened by Obama's appointment of Gov. Bill Richardson as commerce secretary, but as it turns out, launching a full-scale protest against Richardson won't be necessary.  Richardson has withdrawn his nomination.

This decision had nothing to do with Wen Ho Lee, or any decision Richardson made while serving as energy secretary.  Instead, an ongoing federal investigation has tarnished the nomination.  Richardson claims his innocence, maintaining that "I and my administration have acted properly in all matters and this investigation will bear out that fact."  Regardless, he wants to spare the incoming administration from the chaos that the investigation could entail.

While Richardson won't be the next commerce secretary, all is not forgiven.  First of all, this investigation has nothing to do with their initial charges that Richardson's actions while serving as energy secretary promoted racial profiling of Asian Americans.   

Organizers of the site wenholee.org, which has been among the most vocal opponents of Richardson's nomination, "feel neither vindication or disappointment over this outcome."  They believe that an apology by Richardson regarding the Wen Ho Lee case would be "in the nation's interest."     

At this point, it doesn't seem that Richardson will offer that apology, since the present investigation will probably occupy more of his thoughts than a decision made nearly a decade ago.  On the other hand, many of his critics probably wouldn't have predicted this withdrawal, so anything's possible.      

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