Friday, February 13, 2009

Judd Gregg Withdraws Cabinet Nomination

Judd Gregg announced yesterday that he was withdrawing himself for consideration for the Commerce cabinet position. Those against the stimulus and Obama’s power grab couldn’t be happier.

As it turns out, neither party could probably be happier about it. Senator Gregg had abstained from the economic package vote, much to the dismay of Obama. White House officials said since he had abstained from the vote, that he wasn’t fully on board with the Obama team. Maybe Gregg had more altruistic motives for not voting. Since he had been nominated for the Cabinet post, he may have wanted to be seen as neutral in the stimulus vote and for it not to look like his vote had been bought.

Another issue was the attempted hijacking of the Census from the Commerce Department. The census was always under the management of Commerce. Obama announced a few days ago that he wanted it under control of White House Chief of Staff. There is no clear reason why he wanted this to happen. The only thing that could be inferred was that he wanted the districts redrawn favorably to Democrats after the census was complete.

The census is one of the primary responsibilities of the Commerce Department. For the White House to hijack it is utterly shameful. This article By John Fund of the Wall Street Journal gives great insight on how the census could help with political boundaries.

“In 1999, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Department of Commerce v. U.S. House that sampling could not be used to reapportion congressional seats. But it left open the possibility that sampling could be used to redraw political boundaries within the states.”
Maybe Gregg also realized he would be much more important as a GOP senator than as a figurehead in the Obama Cabinet.

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