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Obama Nominates Richardson as Commerce Secretary


U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has selected New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to head the Commerce Department.

Mr. Obama made the announcement today, Wednesday in Chicago.

Richardson is the first Hispanic named to Mr. Obama's Cabinet. Mr. Obama said Richardson will be a key strategist on his economic team. Richardson said boosting commerce between states and nations "is the only path" to economic recovery and growth.

The New Mexico governor is a former congressman and served under former President Bill Clinton as energy secretary and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.Richardson is Mr. Obama's second former political rival chosen to join the new Cabinet.

Richardson and Hillary Clinton, the incoming secretary of state, competed with Mr. Obama for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.Separately today, Mr. Obama's transition team was meeting with former military generals and admirals who want the incoming administration to ban harsh interrogation techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency.

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