Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thoughts On Senator Gregg's Withdrawal and On His Replacement

Honestly Senator Gregg, you can do better than that. Did you seriously realize just earlier this week that you had "irresolvable conflicts" with the Obama administration on very important policy issues? Did you not know that the President is a progressive Democrat? Had you forgotten that you are a very conservative Republican?

Had you not heard about the President's Economic Recovery Plan? Did you not know that you're were seeking to manage a department you had once voted to abolish? When you put yourself forward as a candidate for Secretary of Commerce, didn't it occur to you that President Obama expected you to have reconciled yourself to his agenda... and not the other way round?

No, no, Senator it won't do. A better explanation for your sudden withdrawal as the nominee for Secretary of Commerce is needed.  It is needed not only to preserve some semblance of your own dignity, but also to dispel the notion that your candidacy was nothing more than pure pretense.  Convince us that your sudden change of heart isn't just one more silly deception in the recent series of Republican trickery designed (it seems) to somehow trip up the new President in his very sincere efforts at bi-partisan outreach. 

On a happier note, I'm damned delighted to have you off the national political stage --- maybe for good. It seems you also announced late this evening your intention not to seek re-election in 2010. Wow! Two bits of good news from you in one day. I feel like I got two winning scratch-off lottery tickets at the local convenience store on the same day. It doesn't happen often.

You see, Senator Gregg, the plain truth is I don't much care for you as a politician. When President Obama announced your selection to be Secretary of Commerce, I was very disappointed. Although there are/were a couple of his other Cabinet choices that didn't exactly fire me up, you were always the most disappointing of the lot. I'm just plain happy you're gone.

On an even happier note, your withdrawal creates yet another second chance for President Obama to make the right choice for Secretary of Commerce. My suggestion is for the President to appoint a Tennessean... and a Democrat.  No, I don't mean Governor Bredesen, although a fellow Tennessee blogger suggested that earlier today.

I think the Obama administration and the people of Tennessee will be better served if Governor Bredesen remains at the helm of the Volunteer State until the end of his current term.  Tennessee politics and the various challenges facing our state are a lot trickier than usual right now and Bredesen is the guy to take them on.

No, I'm talking about US Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville). Mr. Cooper has an educational background as an economist, he is a very able and dedicated servant of the people and he has credibility with the business community. He is a leader of the Blue Dogs and is famously a budgetary hawk. He was an early supporter of Barack Obama and has deep connections with important people in the White House. 

Cooper has also served many years in the US House of Representatives and knows how to operate in Washington.  Assuming he votes for the final version of the President's Economic Recovery Plan (which I expect), there is no impediment whatsoever to prevent Jim Cooper from becoming Secretary of Commerce. He would be a fine choice indeed.

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