Senator Judd Gregg as Secretary of Commerce?

The possibility of Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, a moderate Republican who has always had a good relationship with Barack Obama, being named to be Secretary of Commerce comes across as a very appealing idea.

Senator Gregg, well respected in the Senate and considered one of the few remaining moderate Republicans, has served as a Congressman and as Governor of New Hampshire and is finishing his third term in the Senate.  Despite his moderate voting record, he is seen as being in trouble in a re-election bid in 2010 with the Democratic trend since 2006, and his moderate Republican colleague in the Senate, John  Sununu, Jr was defeated in his re-election bid in 2008 by former Democratic governor Jeanne Shaheen.  Gregg may see joining the Obama administration as its third GOP cabinet member as an appealing idea, and certainly it would continue to promote Obama’s idea of bipartisanship in difficult times.

It would also allow the Democrats to reach the magic filibuster proof level of 60 senators, since the Democratic governor of New Hampshire, John Lynch, would be likely to name a Democratic replacement for Gregg.  This would, along with a final seating of Al Franken in Minnesota, lead to that magic number of senators that the Democrats have sought.

However, the Republican party is certainly not happy about such an eventuality and may put pressure on Senator Gregg not to join Obama as part of the issue of party loyalty.  We shall see in the coming days what will happen!

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