NH-Sen: Bank Shot To Sixty?
Josh Orton links to a Roll Call report saying Sen. Judd Gregg may be offered the Secretary of Commerce position.
There is a strong possibility that Barack Obama will choose Republican Sen. Judd Gregg to serve as his Secretary of Commerce, Democratic Senate aides tell the Huffington Post.
The move would fill a vacancy that has lingered since Gov. Bill Richardson withdrew his nomination, and would give Democrats in the Senate a 60th caucusing member, as the state's Democratic governor, John Lynch, would be appointing Gregg's replacement.
I'm slightly concerned about Gregg heading up Commerce, but it's something of a useless cabinet position anyway. It is in charge of NOAA and the National Weather Service and the Census, and is supposed to "promote commerce". Honestly, does this need to exist? Maybe a smaller-government Republican like Gregg would vote to dissolve it and sell off the more important agencies to other departments (NOAA and the NWS should be at Interior, no?)
Meanwhile, another Dem Senator is vital, for a host of reasons, evidenced by the zero-Republican support for the House stimulus bill. It would also line up Republicans to vote for Russ Feingold's Constitutional amendment eliminating Senate appointments by governors, but not until this appointment is made of course. I would even call on the Governor of New Hampshire to open this one up to special election, why not, Paul Hodes is well-positioned to slaughter anyone in the state.
I'm not sure Gregg would do it, but if he did, I think the pros outweigh the cons. Dean Barker at Blue Hampshire thinks Gregg looks out for himself just enough to pull the trigger.
Shrewd on the part of the Obama team.