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Noriega meets with Obama; job offer could be coming

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Everything is everything... Staff Member

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    Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

    Nov. 25, 2008, 8:54PM

    State Rep. Rick Noriega, of Houston, the unsuccessful U.S. Senate candidate who served in Afghanistan and on the Mexican border as a Texas Army National Guard officer, met with President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday as Obama worked on filling leadership positions in his administration, confidential sources said.

    Noriega, the Democrat who lost the Nov. 4 election to Republican incumbent John Cornyn, declined to discuss the meeting in Chicago. Obama's transition team also declined to comment.

    The meeting appeared to be a potential first step toward consideration of Noriega, 50, for appointment to an administration position, and no specific job was mentioned, said people close to the process who spoke on the condition of not being identified.

    With Clinton administration official Federico Peña as a go-between, Noriega was invited a few days ago to meet with Obama, the sources said.

    Peña, secretary of transportation and energy under President Clinton, co-chaired the Obama campaign and was a key Hispanic figure in the drive to elect the Democratic presidential ticket. Noriega is Hispanic.

    Houston political consultant Marc Campos, a Hispanic Democratic activist, noted on his daily Internet diary on Tuesday that "there is some grumbling going on in Latino political circles nationwide; there haven't been any Latinos announced for key positions in the new Obama administration — nothing, nada, zilch. Unless I am missing something, there haven't been any Texans named either. Stay tuned on this one."

    'He's got a lot of areas of expertise'
    But Campos, who did not work in Noriega's Senate campaign, said in an interview that he was unaware of any consideration of Noriega or other specific local figures.

    "Excellent," fellow state House Democrat Garnet Coleman, of Houston, said when told Noriega had met with Obama for possible consideration for a White House slot.

    "He's got a lot of areas of expertise, particularly his experience as a soldier and an officer, but he has also worked on utilities (for CenterPoint Energy) and also has an understanding of all the issues that cross the state's desk," Coleman said.

    Coleman mentioned that Obama, as a former Illinois state senator, knows the value of people who have worked at a detailed level with state policy.

    Sources with knowledge of Obama's talk with Noriega indicated the transition team had not yet examined Noriega's personal financial records — an inspection that precedes consideration of candidates for top-level appointments such as Cabinet positions.

    Obama's team will stay in touch with Noriega as personnel selections unfold before Obama takes office in late January, the sources said.

    Former Senate candidates often have been considered for presidential appointments. After George H.W. Bush lost two Senate races in Texas, he served as ambassador to the United Nations, chief liaison to China and CIA director. Those jobs preceded his election as vice president and president.

    Noriega earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Houston and got a master's degree in public administration from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

    After U.S. Army service, he became a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard, through which he served in Afghanistan in 2004 and 2005. His wife, Melissa, became his temporary replacement in the state House during the deployment. She is now a Houston councilwoman.

    Noriega also has emergency management experience from serving as incident commander for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts at the George R. Brown Convention Center.


  2. MilesAustinforMVP

    MilesAustinforMVP Benched

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    Woo Hoo! I'm so happy for him. He really is a great human being. I was so mad that Bush lite, Cornyn, beat him. But this may be a better situation for him.
  3. Rack Bauer

    Rack Bauer Federal Agent

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    Hmmm... there used to be a news anchor man locally named Richard Noriega that recently ran for some kind of political position (don't remember which). I wonder if they're related?

    I served that guy breakfast when I was a waiter at Shoney's. The dude wore his sunglasses inside... I automatically hated him for it. Plus he was a sorry tipper (although I was a sorry waiter, if you can believe that :D).
  4. ethiostar

    ethiostar Well-Known Member

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    I glanced at the title of the thread and briefly though they were talking about Manuel Noriega.....lol

  5. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    A little misleading. Well played by Woodygirl though.
  6. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    Hey, that's what I thought too... then I started wondering, what position would he be qualified for??

    In a flash, it hit me-- he could head up the DEA... :D
  7. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    That is what I was thinking as well. Heard this guy is a stuck up.
  8. masomenos

    masomenos Less is more

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    At least the appointment of Manuel Noriega would have be CHANGE!!11!

    Instead we're just stuck with Clinton and Bush retreads :(
  9. ethiostar

    ethiostar Well-Known Member

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    Or a consultant for the CIA.
  10. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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  11. BigWillie

    BigWillie Well-Known Member

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    Bill Richardson?

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