Well, we’ve already got a lead on which of three possible explanations applies to this Richardson situation. Here’s Jake Tapper:
Sources tell ABC News that officials on the Obama Transition Team feel that before he was formally offered the job of commerce secretary, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was not forthcoming with them about the federal investigation that is looking into whether the governor steered a state contract towards a major financial contributor….
And the Richardson people respond as you would expect:
The Richardson camp says the governor was forthcoming, with sources close to the governor noting that there had been reports about the controversy in local media such as the Albuquerque Journal as far back as August 2008. The governor discussed the investigation with the Obama team, they say, and believes that he and his administration have done nothing wrong.
So it took, oh, less than three hours for the Obama and Richardson camps to begin pointing fingers at one another. Richardson has already fallen on his sword; it’s probably better for everyone involved if both parties keep their mouths shut from this point forward. Assigning blame just prolongs the media’s interest.
Update: Richardson sources are suggesting that they did tell the Obama team about the Governor’s problems before he was nominated; they had hoped the Governor would be cleared in a fast-moving inquiry that failed to materialize.