GOP Desperate to Keep Gregg in Senate

If he takes Commerce, they want NH governor to pick a Republican
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2009 11:26 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) – Republicans are stepping up efforts to keep Judd Gregg from jumping to Barack Obama’s Cabinet, or, failing that, to convince New Hampshire’s Democratic governor to pick a Republican to replace him. Otherwise, Democrats would gain a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority. “It would be a loss to the Senate of a great mind,” said one high-ranking Republican. Asked what Republicans would offer to keep Gregg, he replied, “Whatever it is, name it.”

Gregg has confirmed that he’s in the mix for Obama’s vacant Commerce post, and the White House is making calls to gauge support for his nomination in the Senate. Friends say Gregg would likely take the job if offered, rather than risk a tough Senate reelection campaign next year. The only downside? “Republicans would hate him forever,” said one New Hampshire Republican, “even up here.”