After Judd Gregg withdrew his name from consideration for the Secretary of Commerce position, and said he made a mistake, the White House released a statement saying that Gregg came to them and offered up his own name for the job.
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “Senator Gregg reached out to the President and offered his name for Secretary of Commerce. He was very clear throughout the interviewing process that despite past disagreements about policies, he would support, embrace, and move forward with the President’s agenda. Once it became clear after his nomination that Senator Gregg was not going to be supporting some of President Obama’s key economic priorities, it became necessary for Senator Gregg and the Obama administration to part ways. We regret that he has had a change of heart.”
Gregg said, “It really wasn’t a good fit. I realize that to withdraw at this point is unfair in many ways….Bottom line, this is simply a bridge too far for me.” The person who is coming looking bad in all of this isn’t Barack Obama, but Judd Gregg. If it is true that Gregg approached the White House about becoming Secretary of Commerce, and then changed his mind, it makes him appear weak and indecisive. It is tough to fault the White House on this one. Gregg will not be running for reelection once his current term in the Senate is up, but before he offered himself up for the job and the administration accepted each party should have taken a closer look at the other.
The bottom line is that a president can’t have a commerce secretary who disagrees with his economic policies, and a commerce secretary can’t be expected to whole heartedly carry out policies that they disagree with. Gregg does deserve the blame for this turning into a messy situation. If he wasn’t certain that he wanted the job, he should have never went after it. The White House should place the responsibility on Gregg. In the end it was better to seek an annulment then continue with what would have been an impossible marriage.