Impossible for Obama to Keep Richardson

By Jennifer Parker

Jan 4, 2009 6:29pm

That the Obama transition team didn’t know about these allegations against Gov. Bill Richardson is shocking.

A Google search would have shown that this investigation has been going on for some time. This has been an issue in New Mexico for a while with the Albuquerque Journal reporting on it for several months. 

It would be very surprising if this is something that was missed by the Obama team.

But what I think happened is the fact that the FBI investigation into pay-to-play allegations isn’t closed out, combined with all of the focus on the Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s corruption scandal makes it more difficult for Richardson to survive politically. And that made it impossible for President-elect Obama to keep him right now.

But this isn’t likely to distract Obama for long. He faces so many other challenges of such magnitude. Obama is coming to Capitol Hill tomorrow to talk about his economic plan.

That, combined with the Israeli ground war in Gaza, and the panoply of national security challenges he’ll face when he takes office.

This Richardson hiccup is likely to be a small blip — especially if they are able to come in with a easy-to-confirm replacement for Gov. Richardson in the next week or so.

–George Stephanopoulos

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