Obama Mulls Republican for Commerce

Tapping NH's Gregg could give Democrats 60 seats in Senate
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2009 10:40 AM CST
Senate Republican lead negotiator Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., talks with reporters during a news conference on the financial crisis Sunday, Sept. 28, 2008 on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – Democrats may get their 60-seat Senate majority after all. President Obama is considering New Hampshire Republican Judd Gregg for the Commerce Secretary post Bill Richardson declined, sources tell Politico. New Hampshire’s Democratic governor would then get to appoint Gregg’s successor. Asked if he’d been offered the job, Gregg replied, “I am not at liberty to discuss that.”

But after one vote yesterday, other Senator Republicans were heard teasing Gregg that the “questions are going to be hard” at the hearing, and that he “wouldn’t get confirmed.” Minority whip John Kyl said he didn’t want to see Gregg go. “That’s a pretty sneaky move—get a really good person as commerce secretary, and then put us in a bind politically.”