Gregg Appointment Expected This Morning
President Obama didn't announce the appointment of Sen. Judd Gregg as
Secretary of Commerce yesterday, but he is
to do so this morning. Immediately afterwards, in a carefully choreographed dance, Gov.
John Lynch (D-NH) is expected to name a placeholder Republican to Gregg's seat, thus
not changing the balance of power in the Senate now, but giving the Democrats a much
better shot at it in 2010. Many New Hampshire Democrats will be hopping mad at Lynch for
naming a Republican saying: "When was the last time any Republican governor in any state
named a Democrat to the Senate?"
Gregg's appointment to run the Commerce Dept. is ironic in that as a Republican senator,
he once voted
to abolish the department.
New Daschle Controversy Arises
Secretary-designate Tom Daschle of Health and Human Services has come
for not paying taxes on time for a free car and driver he was given by a prominent Democratic fundraiser.
Now his income of $195,000 for giving a few speeches to health industry groups is being
This income was legal and he paid taxes on it, but it shows he has deep ties to an industry he is
supposed to regulate. At the very least, it is raising eyebrows. If Obama wants to show that it is
not politics as usual in Washington, this would be a good moment to show it by withdrawing the
nomination. But he probably won't.
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