So much for "No Drama Obama," said Tony Blankley in The Washington Times. The alleged corrupt conduct of several people in President-elect Barack Obama's "proximity" has rattled a once smooth transition. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's withdrawal as the next commerce secretary one step ahead of a grand jury sent an embarrassed Obama team into a fit of "classless finger-pointing."
Obama's transition team insists that Richardson wasn't entirely forthcoming about how serious the federal pay-to-play investigation was, said Heath Haussamen in the New Mexico Independent. But everyone knows that Richardson's administration has repeatedly awarded contracts to donors, "coincidentally or not." Obama just missed the warning signs.
Maybe, said Republican political commentator Andrea Tantaros in Fox News, but this is looking like a pattern. From Blagojevich to Rangel to Rezko, "Obama's got some ethically challenged friends." With the inauguration still two weeks away, it's clear that the Democrats aren't bringing change, they're bringing scandal.
Simmer down, said The Philadelphia Inquirer in an editorial. Richardson insists he did nothing wrong, but he knows that the investigation will drag on and delay his confirmation. "Obama needs his cabinet in place as soon as possible to grapple with the economic crisis," so Richardson did the right thing by getting out of the way.