Secretary of Commerce

In a stroke of political genius, President Obama has selected New Hampshire Republican Senator Judd Gregg to be his Secretary of Commerce. New Hampshire has a Democratic governor, which, under normal circumstances, would mean that a Democrat would be selected to fill the vacant Senate seat. However, Sen. Gregg has assured his Republican Senate colleagues that he would only accept the appointment if he were assured that a Republican would be selected to fill his seat. That's great in the short term, but New Hampshire has been trending Democratic in recent years and it puts a safe Republican seat up for grabs in 2010.

Also, Sen. Gregg was a key member of the Senate on budget and fiscal matters. With Gregg's departure from the Senate, the Republicans have lost a valuable asset for their negotiations with the White House and Democratic members of Congress.

It's not a good day for Mitch McConnell and his crew. The President seems one step ahead of them, at least politically.

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