Thursday, February 12, 2009


i really couldn't see the point having judd gregg as commerce secretary. at least not over the last week or so.

when it was first announced, it seemed smart move. aside from running the census, the commerce secretary doesn't do all that much. but the appointment looked like it would get the dems another senate seat. putting a third republican in the cabinet is a P.R. bonus without giving up a very powerful position, plus obama's party gets another senator in the process. that seemed like a good deal to me.

but then there was that deal where a republican would be appointed to replace gregg. i understand why gregg would want to make that a condition of accepting the job. i just didn't get why the obama team would accept it. the compromise took away the only real benefit to gregg's nomination. so why bother? the ebst i heard is that with an incumbent like gregg out of office, it would be easier for the dems to capture the seat in two years. but a lot can happen between now and then. and an easier time maybe winning the seat in the future didn't seem like enough to make it worth it.

maybe obama realized the same thing. or maybe this is payback for abstaining on the stimulus bill. or maybe gregg himself decided he didn't want the job after all (it's being reported as gregg's withdrawal, not the president's, although reports of whose withdrawal it is never are that reliable). i don't know why anyone would want to be commerce secretary instead of senator, especially in these troubled times. and gregg didn't even like the position to begin with. good riddance.

UPDATE (2/13/09): i wrote the above post when just the first reports of the demise of the gregg nomination came out. i no longer think all of the maybes are true. it's pretty clear now that gregg himself initiated the withdrawal and seemed to surprise the obama people with his decision. that will teach me to do a quick first impression-type post.