Next stop for Gary Locke: Beijing

President Obama is selecting current Commerce Secretary and former Washington state Governor Gary Locke to be the next Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China:

The official says that “as a Pacific Rim governor and Commerce Secretary he helped lead an historic increase in trade with China. As Commerce Secretary, Locke has delivered on the president’s goal of doubling U.S. exports in the next five years (up 17 percent in 2010), led the push for patent and export control reforms and presided over a Census count that came in 25 percent under budget – returning more than $2 billion to the Treasury.”


  1. 1

    Deathfrogg spews:

    Looks like they may be fast-tracking him for Secretary of State for Barry’s second term. Mr. Locke is eminently qualified, speaks fluent Cantonese and I believe he’s pretty sharp on Mandarin as well. He’s also openly distrustful of the Chinese government, something that should be a qualification for all Embassy appointments to potentially adversarial nations.

    He’s a damn good pick.

  2. 2

    Liberal Scientist wonders why the intelligent designer made puddy such a fucktard spews:

    And unlike the last ambassador, he won’t spend his time plotting to run against the guy he’s agreed to work for.

  3. 5

    ld spews:

    Saving a Whopping 2 Billion…give the man a star. It’s like paying 17 cents on a $50,000 debt.

  4. 7

    What do you expect spews:

    Wow…ambassador between the richest most powerful country in the world, and the biggest country in the world (population). That’s one heck of a job.

  5. 8


    I don’t know, it sounds like a demotion. He was 10th in the line of succession and now he’s an ambassador. I guess he finished up the most important thing the Commerce Sec does (the census) so maybe it’s a logical time to tackle something else.

  6. 9

    rhp6033 spews:

    AOL is liberal??????

    Obviously, you haven’t been paying attention. I call AOL “Fox News Light”, it’s “news feeds” usually take stories pushed by Fox news and re-plays them, except not with quite a strident manner, and three or four days after they were discussed in the general media.

    One of it’s favorite tactics is to take a Fox News talking point, and then frame it as a question which allows it to repeat the Republican claims, add a comment from a Democrat somewhere, and then never answer the question.

    Of course, AOL has been circling the drain for quite a few years now, the Huffington Post merger is an attempt to get people to take it’s content seriously again.

  7. 10

    Chris Stefan spews:

    Good pick and less of a dead-end job for Gary than Secretary of Commerce.

    You have to wonder if Gary is being groomed for bigger and better things.

  8. 11

    Chris Stefan spews:

    Its position in the line of succession is about the only real important thing about the Secretary of Commerce post. Otherwise it is a minor post that recently has been reserved for political hacks you owe favors to.

  9. 12

    headless lucy spews:

    I have a needling impulse to make a Charlie Chan joke or say Chinaman.

    Does that make me a bad person?

  10. 13

    Xar spews:


    He came in 25% under budget. What, did you expect him to recoup $1 trillion in savings from a program with a budget in the millions? That’s a bit soft-headed.

    As for the AOL-HP thing, well, how’s that free market working for you? AOL is a great argument against the efficiency of the “free market.”

  11. 14

    rhp6033 spews:

    The job of commerce secretary reminds me a lot of the job I had when I was a center in school football. It’s a job that is under-appreciated. When you do the job well, nobody notices. But if you make one mistake….

    Ambassadorships fall generally within three categories.

    (1) The first rank of Ambassadorships are for countries which require representatives who are both diplomatically adept and politically well-connected. These are the most important posts. Although they generally go to political appointees, the appointee really needs to be fit for a challenging job. This includes ambassadorships to Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany, etc. – generally members of the U.N. Security Counsel and any other nations who’s GDP makes them a world player.

    (2) The second rank of ambassadorships is for countries of secondary importance in world affairs, but where the living conditions are quite nice. This includes most of the other European countries (Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemberg, Monacco, etc.). These are reserved as patronage plumbs where it’s figured that the ambassador merely needs to ply the social circuit and not make any waves. Of course, one recent appointee proved that there are limits to that assumption, as well.

    (3) The third rank of ambassadorships is for difficult positions, often in countries with dangerous or poor living conditions, and where the diplomacy requires careful handling. These positions are normally held by career foreign-service professionals.

  12. 20

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Over the years there have been many criticisms of Sec Locke.
    I’m curious.

    What have any of the many Republican political opponents of Locke achieved by way of comparison?

    I can’t think of a single noteworthy achievement of any one of them. Can you?

  13. 21

    headless lucy spews:

    re 20: A notewothy achievment to a wingnut is to tear down every one elses’ achievments — preferably in the name of morality or fiscal soundness.

  14. 22

    Steve spews:

    Gary Locke is an old Franklin HS classmate who did good. I can’t help but root for him to do well in his new post. I think he’ll turn out to be a good choice.

    We need better trolls. Yeah, we’ve always needed better trolls. But we’re really getting the dregs of the barrel these days.

  15. 23


    (3) The third rank of ambassadorships is for difficult positions, often in countries with dangerous or poor living conditions, and where the diplomacy requires careful handling. These positions are normally held by career foreign-service professionals.

    Joe Wilson comes to mind there.

  16. 24

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 20: Like I said, it’s kind of an “invisible” position. Lots of trips abroad to promote U.S. trade, but most of the job is simply to keep anything bad from happening (small disputes turning into tarriff wars, etc.). If you do the job well, nobody notices you much, but if you screw up….

  17. 25

    really? spews:

    oh I thought the commerce secretary was repsonsible for stuff like, national commerce, the GDP, jobs, the economy, stuff like that. I didn’t know he or she was just a trade ambassador.

    Cuz if he was responsible for like our national economy, you’d have to conclude with unepmloyment still so high and us barely growing? you’d have to conculde that Locke really hadn’t done much.

  18. 26

    Xar spews:

    @25: Or you’d have to conclude that anything significant that the Administration tried to do, even things that were Republican ideas, were blocked. Or that Senate Republicans think their highest calling in life is to prevent Obama from having a second term, rather than actually serving the American people or even their specific constituents.