Barack Obama's pick as Commerce Secretary, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, has withdrawn his name after a new political scandal erupted in his home state.

CDR Financial Products, a firm which advises states and counties on issuing bonds, won a contract from a New Mexico state board controlled by Richardson appointees and administration officials. At the same time that the company and its executives, including CDR president David Rubin, donated heavily to Richardson's presidential campaign. Rubin's response to scrutiny: CDR did nothing wrong, and "This isn't Nigeria."

No, it isn't — which is exactly why even the hint of an appearance of wrongdoing drives a man like Richardson from consideration for a high public office. Not such a bad thing, not being Nigeria, when you consider the alternative. On the bright side, Richardson can grow back his goatee now.