Holy shit if true:
The Obama administration has been floating the idea of naming Republican Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.) to be Commerce Secretary, several Senate sources said Thursday.
The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Gregg’s nomination was far from a done deal, but remains a serious possibility. Reached by phone, Gregg, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said he had no comment on whether he has been in talks with the White House about the post.
At first glance, this move might seem like TEH AWESOME – 60 SEATS0Rz! But believe it or not, I think this is actually bad for a lot of reasons. On the merits, Gregg is a conservative Republican – hardly the kind of guy I want running an important cabinet department. Of course, that’s neither here nor there for the purposes of SSP.
But electorally, it also troubles me. Gov. John Lynch would get to fill the vacancy, and he is very untrustworthy when it comes to matters of partisanship. He’s said ten times as many nice things about John McCain as he has about any Democrat. He’s regularly undermined Dems seeking elective office in New Hampshire, more than once supporting their Republican rivals (like GOP state Sen. Bob Odell). He’s just really not much a Dem.
In short, if there is any sitting Dem governor who might appoint a Republican in circumstances like this, it’s Lynch. At the very least, I think there’s almost no way he’d appoint Paul Hodes, who is our strongest candidate and a proud progressive. Lynch would very likely appoint a wishy-washy Lieberdem, perhaps even 2004 Lieberman national co-chair Katrina Swett (who briefly ran for Sununu’s seat last cycle).
These rumors may well amount to nothing. And even if they do pan out, Lynch could surprise us with a good pick, who with Franken would give us 60 seats in the Senate. But I don’t think the odds of that are high, and really, I’m not loving this.
UPDATE: As Populista points out, though, if this helps us pass the Employee Free Choice Act, then it’s worth it.