When I covered Congress in the late 1980s, Bill Richardson was one of my favorite members. He was jovial, effusive, a bit outrageous and loved media attention—to the point where he pulled me aside in a Capitol hallway during the Jim Wright investigation and said, "You want a source, call me." I was dumbstruck, as I'd covered the House for some six years at that point and never had that experience or anything like it before.
For the same reason, it's probably better for the Obama administration that he not be a member of the cabinet. He's a great guy but also a loose cannon.
Who should serve as Commerce Secretary now that Bill Richardson has withdrawn from consideration?
My personal favorite among the many names being mentioned is Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
She wouldn't be as much fun for reporters, but she's an incredibly capable person and beloved governor who deserves to be in the cabinet. She played an important role in the Obama campaign and would boost the number of women in top administration jobs, a point I've blogged on in the past.