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GOP's Judd Gregg quitting the Senate as well as Obama team?

Buried in all the words uttered this afternoon and evening about the abrupt and surprising departure of yet another Obama administration Cabinet member -- Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, who was set to become Commerce secretary -- was his own five-word revelation:

The former governor and House member would likely not be seeking a fourth Senate term next year.

Not that many northeastern Republicans left anymore. And his state has been trending Democratic. Throws the Granite State's politics into turmoil and opens the door for Democrats to capture that 60th seat that makes the Senate filibuster-proof to the minority you-know-who's.

See our nerws video by scrolling down or click on the "Read more" line.

Gregg suddenly withdrew his own acceptance of an Obama administration post as the president was in Peoria, Ill., at the Caterpillar plant introducing and praising ex-Rep. Ray LaHood, a local Republican congressman who had become the second GOP member in his Cabinet (if you count Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served a Republican president but was a registered independent).

Gregg cited "irresolvable conflicts," stemming largely from his conservative fiscal concerns with the economic stimulus package, now in conference committee, which Gregg did not vote on.

With the conservative Gregg on board, Obama's team has been touting the most bipartisan administration team in history. But the Gregg explained at a late afternoon news conference that the more he thought about the ongoing implications of joining Obama and parts of the economic stimulus program he would help implement and sell, the more he realized the independence he was giving up and his inability to 100% support the team.

"You can't have a blocking back who only pulls out for every second or third play," Gregg said.

Initially, the surprised Obama press team seemed to be preparing for a fight, putting out a hasty statement suggesting it was Gregg who volunteered for the Commerce job.

But Gregg had nothing but good things to say about his abortive boss. The Republican praised Obama as "incredibly gracious" and full of promise. Said he hoped to "carry his water" often on the Hill, that he actually might be more helpful to Obama as a GOP senator than in the Cabinet, and that he wished the new chief executive well.

Gregg said the move of the politically-sensitive Census Bureau from Commerce to the White House the year before the crucial 2010 head count that determines legislative reapportionments for the next decade was only a "slight" factor in his decision.

"To withdraw at this point is really unfair in many ways," Gregg added. "But to go forward and take the position and find myself sitting there not able to do the job the way it should be done for the president would have been an even bigger mistake."

"The president asked me to do this," Gregg said. "I said, 'Yes.' That was my mistake."

Then, almost as an aside answering reporters' questions, Gregg looked at next year and added: "Will I run? Probably not."

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Comments () | Archives (13)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I agree that the 'bail-out' is a disaster and no politician with any sense of responsibility (all two of them if that) would vote for it. But not running for the Senate makes me suspicious. Is there some sort of scandal that's about to break? It's just too hard to believe that one of these pols might really have integrity.

I feel like our country has been hijacked. We have this huge bill being prepared without the Republicans or American people being able to participate, or review it. Thank God that Sen. Judd Gregg stood up against this, and the census being manipulated by the White House, an obvious abuse of power. This is going to be a long 4 years, and unfortunately I do not believe America will ever be the same. I guess change for the worse is Change. How sad.

Only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.

Clearly, Judd Gregg, like most republicants, can only think of himself. He has put his own interests before that of the country. The one absolutely guaranteed part of Gregg's cowardice is that he will do whatever best serves his own pocket book. He will serve out his senate term while lining his own corrupt nest. Good riddance to another useless, greedy conservative.

Gregg shouldn't be so concerned about the Census - he should have been more focused on the core export promotion responsibilities of the Commerce Department. Commerce has been loaded up with non-trade related programs to the point where exports are an afterthought in the Department. The export promotion sections of Commerce have had their budgets siphoned off for other programs that are less essential for job creation. Gregg should have been focused on this rather than political concerns. Obama should appoint a real trade booster.

Gregg said and means he could not philosophycally rally to Obama's socialistic policys. Biden should demonstrate his honesty (if he has any ) by handing in
his resignation now. Biden knows full well he is not qualified to take the president's place ,should he have too. The real drama is Obama seems very
constipated when it comes to facing Biden's vices and numerous shortcomings.

I suppose that it didn't help Sen. Gregg's comfort level that a former senate aide made arrangements with the Abramoff investigation to share information about quid pro quos in the Senate. Overlook something?

i take my hat off to jud Gregg.This whole mess started when Obama appointed the scum bag from new-mexico.Unlike gov. judas,Gregg,s principles are
stronger than greed.





The Republican Party has been infiltrated by some dark group with the agenda of destroying all but the rich. I mean, Sessions wants to engage Taliban-like tactics against the current Administration, Rush Limbaugh is intimidating otherwise well-meaning Republicans into behaving badly ala Joe McCarthy, and Republican Congressmen are playing partisan politics when we can least afford it as a nation - no doubt part of some plan to regain power and reinstate the status quo so their Wall Street buddies and military-industrial complex partners can again run wild. Folks, we're at war, right here in America.

Gregg is bailing because of Obama's insane liberal spending, which will severely hurt America for the next 20 years.

A man of obvious massive levels of cowardice.

AS the greatest coward in American history crawls off in the sunset like the snake he is, one has to wonder: what was his public service all about?

one answer: himself.

Some one need to investigate his overseas bank accounts.

(hello, IRA are you out there?)

Message to Gertrude:

Get a clue. Spending billions of taxpayer dollars on nonsense projects are a good way to end up more in debt with our enimies.

Also, learn how to type in mixed case. Maybe the Democrat school you attended with the gay Keynes failed to teach you how to type.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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