Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, March 7, 2011

President Obama to appoint Gary Locke as U.S. Ambassador to China tomorrow

As of tomorrow, Gary Locke (Washington's first Asian-American governor), who is currently serving as the nation's Secretary of Commerce, will be taking on a new and important role: that of Ambassador to China.

According to news reports, Locke is said to be Obama's pick to succeed Republican Jon Huntsman, who left his post as governor of Utah to take the job, but recently decided to return to the United States. One of his reasons for doing so is reportedly to form a presidential exploratory committee.

Locke was Obama's third choice for Secretary of Commerce. Initially, Obama tapped Bill Richardson, but Richardson withdrew his name from consideration. Obama then asked Republican Senator Judd Gregg to take on the job. Initially, Gregg agreed, but he reconsidered and ultimately backed out.

Locke, however, accepted, and was easily confirmed. He has been part of President Obama's cabinet for nearly two years. Now he's leaving to take over one of America's most important diplomatic posts.

The move puts an end to speculation (for now, anyway) that Locke might become the next president of the University of Washington.

It also means that President Obama will have a hole in his Cabinet to fill for the first time since the hundred days following his inauguration.


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