He's Just Not That Into It


On a day when President Barack Obama spoke in Springfield, Illinois and Washington, D.C. about Abraham Lincoln’s legacy, shared sacrifice, and the importance of national unity, noting that history teaches us, “There are certain things we can only do together,” Sen. Judd Gregg, Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Commerce, and the third Republican slated to be in the Obama cabinet, abruptly withdrew himself from consideration for the post.

Saying, “I just sensed that I was not going to be good at being anything other than myself,” Gregg, The Associated Press reports, got cold feet in the midst of congressional debate over Obama’s proposed economic stimulus legislation, in which he found his former Republican colleagues and his soon-to-be new boss at odds over plans to stem the national economic downturn.

Gregg’s prospective appointment was poorly received by leaders in the Latino community, who feared that Gregg was ill-suited to oversee the 2010 U.S. Census, in preparation of which, historical population undercounting in minority communities, particularly of Latinos, has become a political sticking point. Gregg, the ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Committee on Budget, once advocated the elimination of the U.S. Census Bureau, an agency within the Commerce Department he was preparing to lead.

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