Roosted chickens

By and large, a Democratic White House held its own on the policy front during the 1990s (I know it was a while ago, but remember that whole peace and prosperity thing?) but they lost me at times with their corruption as well as their constant sucking up to big business. Monica was one thing but the selling of the Lincoln Bedroom to big-ticket donors was much, more more troubling. Maybe that's why I had a queasy feeling that Barack Obama was going to the Clinton-era well too many times for his new team -- and I was apparently right.

The chickens of the Clinton era are coming home to roost, or they almost did:

WASHINGTON (AP) - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson on Sunday announced that he was withdrawing his nomination to be President-elect Barack Obama's commerce secretary amid a grand jury investigation into how some of his political donors won a lucrative state contract.

Meanwhile, this story by the New York Times' Charlie Savage isn't getting the play it deserves:

WASHINGTON — An upstate New York developer donated $100,000 to former President Bill Clinton’s foundation in November 2004, around the same time that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton helped secure millions of dollars in federal assistance for the businessman’s mall project.

The donor dude is nominally a Republican, which makes it smell more fishy. Blago is Blago, but Obama didn't pick him for anything. Richardson and Clinton are a different story. My favorite Obama cabinet choice so far has been Steven Chu for Energy Secretary, a Nobel laureate who's a complete D.C. outsider. I know Obama wants to hit the ground running, but you can't run very fast when you're carrying so much baggage. Sometimes change means, you know, change.