Gregg will watch census from the Senate

NY Times, The Caucus:

President Obama’s choice for Commerce Secretary, Senator Judd Gregg, withdrew his nomination on Thursday. He said there were “irresolvable conflicts” between him and the administration.

“It has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census, there are irresolvable conflicts for me,” Mr. Gregg said in a statement. “Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.”

The withdrawal comes one week after Mr. Gregg was named to become the third Republican member of the Obama Cabinet. It is the second time that the Commerce Secretary position has been vacant within the last month.

Mr. Gregg, a Republican of New Hampshire, had not resigned his seat in the Senate. He has been away from the Senate floor this week, presumably preparing for his confirmation, and did not vote on the administration’s economic stimulus plan.


He added, “As a further matter of clarification, nothing about the vetting process played any role in this decision. I will continue to represent the people of New Hampshire in the United States Senate.”

It appears to be a policy driven decision. I think the census decision had to be deeply insulting and troubling for constitutional reasons too. This cartoon seems to capture the concerns of many. I think this is an issue that will not go away no matter who winds up with the job. Commerce is a subject that Democrats do about as well as a 64 year old white lawyer does rap. If you examine Obama's trade policies and labor positions he appears to be hostile to the subject.

Gregg is a guy with good instincts and I think they served him well here. He is a wealthy man, who is also lucky enough to have won the New Hampshire state lottery more than once.


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