Bill Richardson

WASHINGTON – New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson abandoned his nomination to become commerce secretary under pressure of a grand jury investigation into a state contract awarded to his political donors — an investigation that threatened to embarrass President-elect Barack Obama.

This year Obama was endorsed by everybody from rednecks to the Nation of Islam. While every endorsement mattered there were several key endorsements that lead to his historic victory.

President-elect Barack Obama named New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as commerce secretary on Wednesday, filling a top economic post in troubled times and placing a second former campaign rival in his new Cabinet.

President-elect Barack Obama has chosen New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to be commerce secretary, adding a prominent Hispanic and one-time Democratic rival to his expanding Cabinet.