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Gary Locke for Commerce?


Mr. Locke, a two-term governor, former state legislator and onetime county executive, would bring a technocratic, pro-business record to the post. As the first Chinese-American to serve as a governor in the United States, Mr. Locke would also be the third person of Asian descent in Mr. Obama’s cabinet, after Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki.

Mr. Locke, 59, an immigrants’ son raised in public housing who attended Yale University on scholarship, ran Washington from 1997 to 2005. He once termed his legislative agenda “prudent yet bold,” a phrase some found fitting for a politician described by The Seattle Times as “a smart, competent, hard-working policy wonk who was neither flashy nor strongly partisan.”

His most noted action was a multibillion-dollar incentive package to keep Boeing from taking production of its new jetliner to another state, a hugely significant moment for his state’s business reputation. But his alliance with Boeing and big business on labor issues earned him the enmity of unions.


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pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

cited at TPM:

The Commerce post is typically not one of the more high-profile jobs in any administration. The head of the department oversees agencies responsible for the once-a-decade census, for oceans policy and for many aspects of international trade, among other things.

The administration recently took steps to assert greater White House control over the census. The outcome of the census has deep political implications, since congressional districts are drawn on the basis of population.

Is this census aspect going to create fireworks down the line? It certainly might elevate this lower-profile position into something much more controversial.

apolitiko's picture
Submitted by apolitiko on

..or even combative, then Locke would certainly not be it. Locke was as boring/technocratic of a governor as Washington State ever had....and it looks certainly like that is the governing style of whom The Oregonian calls 'No Drama Obama':

Moreover, I think Locke was chosen because both Sims and Shinseki (Seattle Area people) pushed him. A strange gluttony of Washington area people in this administration. We normally don't get this much attention! And you don't want us in there....our legislature is as dull as you can get. When they had SUPERMAJORITIES recently, they still moved on nothing in fear of reelection.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

I guess this can be one of those "At least he's not a Republican" picks. My dream was that my state's David Bonior (Gingrich gadfly and fair trader) would have been chosen for some cabinent position that dealt with the economy, and this would have been a good fit. But, whatever.