Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Judd Gregg for Secretary of Commerce?


From CNN.com

GOP's Gregg accepts commerce secretary post

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Obama extended a political olive branch to the GOP on Tuesday, nominating Sen. Judd Gregg, R-New Hampshire, to head the Commerce Department.

GOP Sen. Judd Gregg accepted President Obama's nomination as commerce secretary Tuesday.

"Clearly, Judd and I don't agree on every issue, most notably who should've won the [presidential] election," Obama joked in announcing the nomination, "but we do agree on the urgent need to get American businesses and families back on their feet."

Gregg will be an "able, persuasive ambassador for industry" because he is a skillful negotiator and a "master of reaching across the aisle to get things done," Obama said.

We are ... in the middle of a very difficult economic time," replied Gregg, who has chaired a key Senate commerce subcommittee.

Gregg, a third-term Republican known for being fiscally conservative, thanked Obama for taking the "rather extraordinary step of asking me to join your administration." He lauded Obama's "bold and aggressive, effective and comprehensive plan for how we can get this country moving." Watch why Gregg joined Obama's team »

"This is not a time for partisanship. This is not a time when we should stand in our ideological corners and shout at each other," he said. "This a time to govern, and govern well."

Gregg's decision to accept Obama's offer represents a stunning turnabout -- he voted to abolish the Commerce Department in 1995. If confirmed, he will be the third Republican to join Obama's Cabinet, following Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Rest of article at link above.


What do we get out of this?

We don't get a 60th Democratic Senator.

We get Sessions of Alabama as the lead Republican on the Budget Committee now.

We get someone who wanted to abolish the Commerce Department.

And going into the 2010 Census, is THIS the person we want heading things, as reapportionment rears its head?

I'm just trying to figure out why THIS Republican was such a good choice over numerous Democrats who would have been more than willing to be supportive of small business.


Liberal Arts Dude said...

Hi Rikyrah

Interesting discussion on this over at the Open Left blog

Judd Gregg (R-NH) - who has built up a record of voting for every single corporate-written trade deal of the last generation - will now be heading the government agency that is supposed to enforce the meager fair trade laws we have on the books, and whatever new fair trade laws get passed.

That's right, the Commerce Department is the home of the International Trade Administration, whose mission is to "ensure fair trade and compliance with trade laws and agreements." During the Bush administration, this key agency was used to enforce the protectionist provisions in trade deals that help corporations - stuff like patents and intellectual property. But it could also be used to enforce the minimal human rights, anti-dumping and anti-currency-manipulation provisions in trade deals, as well.

And though Barack Obama campaigned on specific fair trade promises, it's hard to believe that the government's trade enforcement apparatus will be focused on fair trade now that Gregg will run it.

rikyrah said...

Thanks for the link.