President Obama will nominate John Bryson to be his Commerce Secretary. He's a businessman with "environmental bona fides," in the words of the National Journal's Matthew Cooper, after spending almost two decades as chairman of the utility Edison International before stepping down in 2008. He's also one of the founders of the of the Natural Resources Defense Council. And later today he'll be announced as the president's choice to fill the "stepping stone" position currently occupied by the outgoing Gary Locke, who's been tapped as the next ambassador to China.

The early word on the nomination's rationale is that Bryson's environmental credentials will look good to the Democratic base. The nomination "will probably earn support from liberal groups," figured National Journal. The president is looking for Bryson to "promote job creation, economic growth, sustainable development," said one official to The Wall Street Journal. He'll "play a key role as a member of the president’s economic team" said another to The New York Times. Those previously rumored for the position, according to the news accounts cited, include Eric Schmidt of Google and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.