Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire withdrew his name from consideration for Commerce Secretary in Barack Obama's cabinet today. Politico posted the statement from Gregg's office. Excerpt:
I want to thank the President for nominating me to serve in his Cabinet as Secretary of Commerce. This was a great honor, and I had felt that I could bring some views and ideas that would assist him in governing during this difficult time. I especially admire his willingness to reach across the aisle.
However, it has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me. Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.
Obviously the President requires a team that is fully supportive of all his initiatives. [...]
As a further matter of clarification, nothing about the vetting process played any role in this decision. I will continue to represent the people of New Hampshire in the United States Senate.
One wonders why Gregg only noticed today that his views on economic stimulus and the census would impede his effectiveness as a cabinet member. (The U.S. Census Bureau is part of the Commerce Department.)
Despite the last paragraph of Gregg's statement, you have to wonder whether something popped up in the vetting process here.
Whatever his reasons, I welcome the news and hope that the third time will be the charm for President Obama as he tries to fill this position.
This thread is for any comments or speculation about why Gregg dropped out and who should replace him at Commerce. I don't want the job to go to another conservative or another Republican.