Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Judd Gregg Accepts Obama Nomination; One Party Rule?

The concerns:
Fox News' Greg Jarrett Asks If Senator Judd Gregg, Not A Liberal Democrat, Is A “Traitor” (pardon the loony liberal link, but the question was asked - is he a traitor? E-Mail us)

Hotair published that a deal was perhaps being sewed behind closed doors:
Judd Gregg: Not Without My Elephant
Barack Obama figured out a clever way to give Harry Reid his 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Instead of continuing to raid Reid’s caucus for Cabinet appointees, Obama could find a Republican Senator whose seat was at serious risk in 2010, from a state where a Democratic governor would appoint the replacement. Obama gets some bipartisan credibility and Reid gets his final supermajority vote, while the Republican gets a golden parachute.

Unfortunately for Reid and Obama, Judd Gregg (R-NH) has not quite played along with Obama’s master plan:
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) won’t accept a position as President Obama’s secretary of Commerce unless he is guaranteed his Senate seat remains in GOP hands, said two Republicans who know Gregg well.

Departing the Senate without one could give Democrats 60 members and a filibuster-proof majority.

“Gregg would never allow his seat to go to a Democrat, the only way he would allow it is if he died,” said a Republican close to Gregg. “He would consider it to be a breach of trust to people who elected it.” …

Republicans who know Gregg well say that Lynch must agree to select a Republican because Gregg, one of the most revered leaders in New Hampshire Republican politics, would not allow his seat to give Democrats filibuster-proof control of the Senate.

“He will not take Commerce secretary unless Lynch says he will appoint a Republican,” said the Republican close to Gregg.

Regardless, all we can know for sure right now, is that the nomination was announced and Judd Gregg accepted:
Republican Sen. Gregg nominated for Commerce
As USA TODAY and other news media have been reporting, President Obama is nominating Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire to be the next Commerce secretary.

We've updated this post with news from the announcement as it happened.

Interestingly, CQ Politics points out that in 1995 Gregg voted for legislation that would have eliminated the department he's now expected to take over. It goes on to write that:

Ultimately, the Commerce Department survived, and Gregg has since shown more interest than most of his Republican colleagues in funding some of its agencies, particularly the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Gregg also fought President Bill Clinton’s efforts to increase funding for the Commerce Department to administer the 2000 census. Indeed, Gregg's commitment to basic functions of the department has been questioned at times.

Update at 11:06 a.m. ET: Given the enormous economic challenges facing the nation, Gregg says, "this is a time to govern and govern well."

When Obama asked him to serve in the administration, Gregg adds, "I believe it was my obligation to say yes."

Giving away all GOP powers - traitor? naa... fine - don't call it treason - call it voter theft, silent revolution, political muddy goo, crap - one party, an apparently loony one, can do whatever they feel like.

Obama to GOP : Check-Mate!

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