Merry Christmas, Ron Kirk! You're the New U.S. Trade Representative!

See, told you: No way former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk would be named secretary of anything by President-Elect Barack Obama -- all that lobbying, yech. (Or not.) Nope, ever since Monday it's looked more and more likely that First Buddy Kirk would be tapped for something a little less high-profile: U.S. trade representative. And it looked even better following yesterday's news that Obama's first choice, California Democrat Rep. Xavier Becerra, was backing out of the gig.

Well, if you believe Reuters, tomorrow Ron Kirk gets his early Christmas present: "President-elect Barack Obama will nominate former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk to be U.S. trade representative, a source familiar with decision said on Thursday. Obama is expected to make the announcement on Friday in Chicago, the source said." Unless he doesn't. But, for the moment, gird your loins for Kirk's new title: Ambassador! --Robert Wilonsky

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