How, Exactly, Is Gregg "A Blow" to President Obama?

by: Chris Bowers

Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 19:49

Have you heard? Judd Gregg's withdrawal is a "blow" to the Obama administration! That's what Judy Woodruff told me tonight on the News Hour, anyway.

And she's not the only one. The New York Times also thinks that "Mr. Gregg's withdrawal was the latest blow for the White House." The Washington Post writes that this is "a major blow" and the Wall Street Journal claims that Gregg's withdrawal is "another embarrassing blow to the Obama administration."

You know, I have never seen so many Democratic activists so happy about what is apparently a major defeat for Democrats. Every blog post, and virtually every comment I read, is ecstatic. It kind of reminds me about how, after the 2006 elections, we were told that conservatives had actually won, so liberals should be upset.

Yes, it is truly awful that one less Republican will be in President Obama's cabinet. It is also "a blow" to President Obama and Democrats that Judd Gregg is so humiliated by this episode that he won't even seek re-election in 2010. And it is a terrible blow to progressives that the specific policy concerns of the three Congressional minority caucuses have more influence over White House policy than does the press corps' fascination with bipartisanship.

I'm devastated. What a huge blow. How will we ever recover from this terrible setback?

Chris Bowers :: How, Exactly, Is Gregg "A Blow" to President Obama?

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exactly (4.00 / 7)
It's absurd spin by the media.  They really are fools.

However, I will take this comment to say I just realized that (in theory) the Democratic Hill staffer quoted at TPM and Open Left could be Matt Stoller!  No, I don't think it is, but it nice to realize it.

New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

It's a blow because (4.00 / 3)
A rivalgasm deferred is a rivalgasm denied!

Media revenge for the HuffPo call in the presser (4.00 / 6)

 So Obama will call on THREE blogs next time.

 Chris, you might get credentials out of this.  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

Um, it would be a blow to the Obama WH (4.00 / 5)
if they wanted Gregg, made it clear that they did, went out out on a limb to bring him in, and he simply spurned the offer. It would be especially so if he did it in a way that was intended to embarrass them and undermine them.

Maybe it wouldn't be a blow to most progressive activists, who loathed him, but that's a different matter, right?

Distinctions, always the distinctions.

An embarrassment lasts a day or two (4.00 / 9)

 A bad appointment lasts four years.


"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

[ Parent ]
I'm not saying he would have been a good appt (4.00 / 1)
that's for sure.

The real question is why they couldn't see the potential for embarrassment from a mile away.

[ Parent ]
A blow to Obama? (4.00 / 1)
I think Obama has more important things to think about. If Gregg turned  down the position, you would never have heard of this offer. Because that is not how Obama operates. First he doesn't like unofficial leaks. He puts out a trial balloon before it becomes official.  So basically it was done deal before a trial balloon was put out.  

[ Parent ]
There is such a disconnect (4.00 / 2)
between the trad med and reality.

Perhaps they should get out more.

edf (4.00 / 6)
The media says everything is bad for Obama, until they get poll numbers which have to shut them up, then they move on to something else until new poll number comes out on their new interest. Repeat.

Obama is NEVER going to feel the love (4.00 / 8)
that he wants from the Republican party as a result of his efforts at bipartisanship. The sooner he realizes that, the better for everyone. He should take the clue from ex-neolibs like Krugman and become a card (flower, t-shirt, Converse, frisbee, etc.) carrying member of the DFH club.

Come on in, President Obama, the water's fine.

I don't know how I'll recover from this. (4.00 / 11)
We won't have Gregg at Commerce.

He's not running in 2010.

He's shown the whole world what we in NH have always known - that Judd is all about what Judd wants.

And he, the last major GOP figure in NH, has become the laughing stock of both parties.

This is an absolute disaster.

Blue Hampshire - Defeating Republicans since 2006.

I was already wondering,how to establish "Judge Dread"... (0.00 / 0) the new name for the secretary. And now, this! Damn, this joke won't have a chance now. I'm devastated, too. Really an absolute disaster.

Uh, would you pls pass the champagne, Dean? Thx!

[ Parent ]
My reaction... (4.00 / 12)

  I was at the gym, where CNN is force-fed into my space, and I saw the "GREGG OUT" headline.

  I was so devastated I punched my fist in the air and shouted "Yesss!" In full view of the other exercisers.

   I apologize to Judy Woodruff for not consulting with her before determining my proper response. Won't happen again, Judes...  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

oh, baby, this blow hurts so good n/t (4.00 / 4)

so awful! such an embarassment! (4.00 / 3)
LOL, we're cheering in the streets it's such a low blow...
Everybody hates that guy...the conservatives and the left...
who except the super rich likes someone who promotes bad trade deals, offshore outsourcing and labor arbitrage?

I think it's bi-partisan thrill!  

The Economic Populist

Whew! (4.00 / 1)
Dodged a bullet there. What a disaster that could have been.  

This is EXCELLENT news for John McCain!! (4.00 / 8)

this is a blow for irony (4.00 / 4)
i hope the 3rd nominee also voted for the elimination of the dept he intents to head.  

the funk can move and the funk can remove- dig?

Gendered Language Alert! (4.00 / 2)

the funk can move and the funk can remove- dig?

[ Parent ]
Remember he's actually the 4th (0.00 / 0)
Early on, Penny Pritzker's name was leaked, but she withdrew her name shortly before it was formally announced.  

[ Parent ]
ouch. (0.00 / 0)
rough go for commerce.

the funk can move and the funk can remove- dig?

[ Parent ]
Volunteers (4.00 / 1)
OK OK OK.  Enough already.  I'll do it.  Jeez.  You don't have to beg.  
Just remember, I believe in a steady state economy, so don't go all "wow, we didn't know" when Cornyn asks about it.

[ Parent ]
please. (0.00 / 0)
i make 23,750 a year and i wouldnt take that gig.

the funk can move and the funk can remove- dig?

[ Parent ]
Perhaps... (0.00 / 0)
I work for a more disfunctional organization than you do.

[ Parent ]
What is this -- (4.00 / 5)
the Defense Against Dark Arts gig or something?

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
Spinal Tap drummer? (4.00 / 1)

[ Parent ]
Ha Ha (0.00 / 0)
you beat me to it. That was my exact thought earlier today. :)

[ Parent ]
Doesn't count... (0.00 / 0)
She was never formally put forth as a nominee.

[ Parent ]
24 hour news cycle (4.00 / 4)
Just the stupidity of the 24 hour news cycle.

Either that or some weird sexual reference to withdrawing and blowing.

Yes, a horrible blow to Obama (4.00 / 4)
I've been cryin' in my champagne all night ;)

Even if we wanted Gregg, it's still not a "blow" (4.00 / 6)
Merits of the appointment aside, I don't see how this as a "blow"; the public is left with the clear impression that Obama made yet another attempt to bridge differences with the GOP, only to be rebuffed.

This doesn't make him look bad; if anything, he looks magnanimous, and the GOP looks petty.

Yeah...this wasn't a vetting issue (0.00 / 0)
It wasn't about taxes, or "problems" with the pick. It was about Obama making a gesture, and that gesture not being returned, period.  

[ Parent ]
I'm sOoooo upset! (4.00 / 1)
boo woo, boo woo. ;-)

The Perfect Choice for Commerce (4.00 / 5)
Commerce Secretary Harry Reid. Get him out of the Senate and get a Majority Leader who can lead.

[ Parent ]
You forget who Nevada's governor is (0.00 / 0)
Jim Gibbons is even stupider and more corrupt than Blago.

Forgotten Countries - a foreign policy-focused blog

[ Parent ]
Who then? (0.00 / 0)
I'm enjoying all the caustic wit here ...

But on a more serious note, there must be a candidate we should be pushing.  Who should it be?

Republicans can't fix our country; they're too busy saddlebacking.

[ Parent ]
How about one of the progressives' (0.00 / 0)
Economist heroes?

I realize that Commerce isn't Treasury, but it would still be a seat at the table.  So, Krugman, et al.

But I think this would now be a good time to put up an unknown who is an up and coming thinker and can represent diversity in some way.

On the other hand, if you REALLY want bipartisanship, and REALLY hate NOAA, then Rick Santorum is your man.

[ Parent ]
Marcy Kaptur (0.00 / 0)
I think it should be Mary Kaptur from Ohio.

[ Parent ]
Sorry bad typist that is Marcy Kaptur (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
Short Run/Long Run (4.00 / 4)
Its a blow to Obama because, in the short run, he has to talk about Gregg.  But in the long run, he looks good because he's bent over backwards to bring the GOP into government, and they've spit in his face.  He now has carte blanche to dispense with bipartisanship and do whatever the hell he wants.  Oh, and he just turned NH-Sen into an open seat. Long Run, good.  Short run is annoying.  

You're right... (4.00 / 1)
You're right.  Long term, this is excellent.  Short term, it's an annoyance.  

I think our President has done enough "bipartisanship".  The GOP has done nothing but piss at him and the Dems throughout it all.  He should ignore them and press on with his agenda.  

[ Parent ]
You're right... (0.00 / 0)
You're right.  Long term, this is excellent.  Short term, it's an annoyance.  

I think our President has done enough "bipartisanship".  The GOP has done nothing but piss at him and the Dems throughout it all.  He should ignore them and press on with his agenda.  

[ Parent ]
I wonder if that is how he will begin to play this (4.00 / 1)
I mean it seems like too good to be true if that is his intent, to create a partisan space in the mainstream discourse to marginalize Republicans even from the perspective of the idiotic village. I tire of the "obama's 47 moves ahead of us in hyperdimensional chess" arguments but it does seem like it could be some sort of political dirty trick to take away the control of the census from commerce after bringing in Gregg, almost like it was either done deliberately to give a GOP face to a Democrat attempt to influence how the census is counted (important for federal formulas including housing, and gerrymandering of course) or to force Gregg to withdraw, damaging his relation to conservative movement institutions and shaking loose another race for 2010. Either way, Obama gets a long term victory from a short term embarrassment that can be turned into an asset if he plays this the right way.  

[ Parent ]
Well, it IS a blow to the BS centrist/bipartisan side of Obama (4.00 / 1)
that he insists on promoting and pretending that it isn't what it is, capitulation to the right. So I'm perfectly ok with THAT side of Obama being dealt a blow, however transient, if it helps bring whatever progressive side of him actually exists back to life.

Like chemotherapy, which almost kills the body in order to save it by killing the cancer that would otherwise kill it, Obama needs to be dealt more such blows to this right-leaning and appeasing side of him in order to push him to the left, where he should be.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

No One Will Remember This By Next Week (4.00 / 2)
The DC press is so obsessed with the nothing story of the day.

Some failed cabinet choices everyone has forgotten - Linda Chavez, Bobby Ray Inman, Bernie Kerik, John Tower.  The embarassment from these choices ruined Presidencies - NOT!

i guess the only reason this is a blow .. (4.00 / 2)
is that its the another nominee to bow out.   From a simplistic POV that is kind of embarassing...

Of course, its not like there was a scandal that floored Gregg... Gregg not willing to do his job floored Gregg.

Screw em... who cares what they think... We hopefully get a better commerce secretary and an easier path to winning NH senate seat.

the Beltway media just kills me (4.00 / 1)
Over and over again.  Something 'blows' all right and it's not this.  Do these people EVER escape DC and their Church of Meaningless Bipartisanship?  Do they actually think one voter anywhere in the United States either (1) gives a shit about Judd Gregg or (2) considers this inside-baseball bullshit a 'blow' to Obama?  

Obama agrees with Open Left - he's already joking about it (4.00 / 1)
"In 1854, Lincoln was simply a Springfield lawyer who'd served just a single term in Congress, Possibly in his law office, his feet on a cluttered desk, his sons playing around him, his clothes a bit too small to fit his uncommon frame, maybe wondering if somebody might call him up and ask him to be commerce secretary ..."


New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

haha (0.00 / 0)
Hilarious )  Funniest president ever?

[ Parent ]
Did Gregg say (4.00 / 1)
he wanted to spend some more time with his family?

This will give more ammo to Republicans to say the census is unfair, but with Republicans, everything is ammo, so perhaps doesn't matter.

Anyway, one stupid idea flushed down the toilet. And thanks for the help on the stimulus bill, Gregg.

No reality in the media especially in DC (4.00 / 1)
This is a GLARING example of why this video of the Bill Moyers Show

Obama was quick to get out of Washington and it may have thrown them off their game but a quick trip is not going to stop zombies from eating brains and killing democracy.

why is it (0.00 / 0)
that people like judd gregg win the lottery.  it must distort the cosmic scales.

Better now… (4.00 / 1)
...than to have the guy squawking, "the President won't let me do my job!" later. Boy, would the media have a field-day with that one. It wouldn't be like Christie Tod Whitman in the Bush Administration, being frustrated and leaving quietly. I think it's important to keep countering the "Obama misstep" script with reminders that the GOP isn't interested in bipartisanship, the GOP is negotiating in bad faith and the GOP is only concerned about the GOP's fortunes, not America's. Obama can't say that (yet), but we can.

Also, my gut tells me there's more to the story about Gregg not seeking reelection, but who's to say?  

"This ain't for the underground. This here is for the sun." -Saul Williams

Its not a crazy notion... (0.00 / 0)
....but it is wrong. It's simplistic.

It's akin to looking at the mathematical statement (6+12-15)*2 and casting it as being simply 12.

As with any big media deal like this, there's an equation involved with a lot of values. Something like [tackiness of Gregg's announcement on a personal level]+[appearance of GOP backstab/plot]-[appearance of Obama not being in control or being naive]+[credit for Obama for attempt at bipartisanship]+[neutering of prominent GOP Senator]+[growing white hats (Dems) vs. black hats (Rs) meme] or somesuch.

The value of the whole equation is a positive, clearly - but the media see one variable ("appearance of Obama not being in control or being naive") and trip all over themselves casting it as the beginning and the end of the matter.

So its not that they're crazy, just stupid (or, in many cases, agenda-driven).


I don't get it either (0.00 / 0)
Personally I think it's fantastic news that Gregg bailed on it, and made himself look like an ass in the first place.  Just another reason why I can't wait to see Paul Hodes take over the seat in 2010.  Of course the only way it would have been better would have been appointing a Democrat to the spot rather then picking a candidate so completely unsuited for the spot.  Personally I think even Liebermann would have been a better pick to take the job then Gregg, not that Liebermann is anything to write home about.  Just pick a Dem without any tax problems and be done with it.  


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