Judd Gregg: Commerce Secretary?
President Obama is considering Republican Senator Judd Gregg for the Commerce Secretary post, Sam Stein reports for HuffPo.
The move would fill a vacancy that has lingered since Gov. Bill Richardson withdrew his nomination. And provided that Al Franken emerges victorious in the Minnesota recount, it would give Democrats in the Senate a 60th caucusing member, as New Hampshire’s Democratic governor John Lynch would appoint Gregg’s replacement.
The potential of Gregg leaving the Senate will almost certainly set off an intense lobbying effort from his fellow Republican senators to persuade him to turn down the Commerce post. Already, a GOP operative writes in to say: “No way that Gregg takes it.”
Given that handing over the seat to the opposition party — and giving them a “filibuster-proof” majority — would make him a hated figure among Republicans, it’s virtually inconceivable that he’d do this. Frankly, I can’t imagine leaving the Senate to be Commerce Secretary even without the political fallout.
Another shrewd move by Obama, though, if he goes through with this. At the very worst, he comes across as being “bipartisan” while making a bold partisan power grab.