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.