Long Goodbye

Gregg and White House Still Clashing

When Republican Senator Judd Gregg's commerce secretary nomination fell apart last week due to "irresolvable conflicts" of ideology, relevant parties started pointing fingers. Whose terrible idea was it to pair Gregg with the Obama administration, anyway? According to the Huffington Post's Sam Stein, Gregg and the White House are still at odds on this. Gregg and Senate Majory Leader Harry Reid maintain that Obama asked Reid for recommendations when his first Commerce nominee, Bill Richardson, dropped out; Reid says he then suggested Gregg, who had not yet expressed interest. Gregg says Reid's story is correct, but the Obama administration insists just the opposite. When Gregg withdrew his name, White House officials said Gregg had requested the nomination, and his withdrawal was symptomatic of a "change in heart," not poor vetting or an error on their side.