Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Judd Gregg, Meet JFK

After being nominated for Commerce Secretary, it took the New Hampshire senator a week to decide not to ask what he could do for his country, but what his country could for him.

The answer today was not much, as he withdrew his name for the post he had sought, citing sudden discovery of "a different set of views on many critical items of policy."

His erratic behavior did not amuse the Obama team, which responded by observing that Gregg had “reached out to the president and offered his name for secretary of commerce. He was very clear throughout the interviewing process that despite past disagreements about policies, he would support, embrace, and move forward with the President’s agenda."

For its part, the Administration had acceded to the senator's requirement that the Democratic governor pick a Republican to succeed him in the Senate and had been willing to overlook the fact that Gregg had voted in 1995 to abolish the Commerce Department.

Chalk it up to an Obama overreach for bipartisanship in choosing a second-generation politician from the Granite State, whose behavior in the process reflected its motto, "Live Free or Die," less than Monty Python's Upperclass Twit of the Year.

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