Hillary Clinton Stepping Down As Secretary Of State?

That’s the report, and rumors so far have it that former New Mexico governor and Presidential candidate Bill Richardson is her likely replacement. Which is odd given that just a day ago chief White House flak Robert Gibbs was saying that there would be no significant changes in Obama’s cabinet going into the second half of his term, though David Axelrod is being quoted as saying there will be changes.

Hillary stepping down would certainly be a big change.

US “troubleshooter” Bill Richardson, who just returned from a trip to North Korea, is likely to be tapped to succeed Hillary Clinton to become the next U.S. Secretary of State, Yonhap News Agency said Saturday citing a report.

“Numerous sources are pointing toward New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as possibly replacing Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State in 2011,” Exminer.com said.

The possibility is opening up, with some circumstantial signs backing up the view.

For example, the current U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s husband, Bill Clinton, is suffering from heart conditions and she is said to want to spend more time with her family, it said.

If Hillary Clinton steps down, Richardson is likely to be one of the strongest candidates for the position. The New Mexico Governor has a background in diplomacy. He previously served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations as well as energy secretary under President Clinton.

Richardson also acted as a troubleshooter a few times before when American civilians became hostages in North Korea, by visiting North Korea and rescuing them.

Something here doesn’t pass the smell test. Bill Clinton certainly seems healthy enough to be out in the public eye, so I don’t buy for a minute that Hillary would be stepping down over family concerns, and with Gibbs and Axelrod giving conflicting answers to questions about the cabinet one has to wonder if there isn’t some sort of internal conflict.

Not that there hasn’t been conflict between the Obama and Clinton camps all along.

By the way, Richardson might be a fairly controversial pick. He was up for a position in the Obama administration originally but had to withdraw due to controversy over an alleged quid pro quo arrangement between himself as Governor of New Mexico and a contractor/political contributor.

Richardson’s nomination as Secretary of State would need to be approved by the Senate.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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