The Washington Times - February 12, 2009, 04:30PM

Sen. Judd Gregg, New Hampshire Republican, has withdrawn his nomination to be Commerce secretary, citing “irresolvable conflicts” with the Obama administration over the economic stimulus bill.

“I want to thank the President for nominating me to serve in his Cabinet as Secretary of Commerce. This was a great honor, and I had felt that I could bring some views and ideas that would assist him in governing during this difficult time. I especially admire his willingness to reach across the aisle,” Gregg said in a statement posted on the Drudge Report.


“However, it has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me. Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.”

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs issued a statement: “Senator Gregg reached out to the President and offered his name for Secretary of Commerce. He was very clear throughout the interviewing process that despite past disagreements about policies, he would support, embrace, and move forward with the President’s agenda. Once it became clear after his nomination that Senator Gregg was not going to be supporting some of President Obama’s key economic priorities, it became necessary for Senator Gregg and the Obama administration to part ways. We regret that he has had a change of heart.”

So the Obama administration’s stimulus package wasn’t Republican enough for Gregg?

It shouldn’t have been a surprise for Gregg.  He would have been only one of three Republicans in the administration.  The other party won the election.

Well, at least Gregg didn’t drop out because he had a problem with his taxes.  He’s fresh.

This is President Obama’s second pass on the Commerce secretary post.  His first nominee — New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson — dropped out amid a “pay for play” investigation in his state.  Who will Obama turn to now?  I hear Rod Blagojevich is looking for work.

You know, President Clinton went through two nominees for attorney general before he settled on Janet Reno, who became one of the longest serving members of his Cabinet.  I don’t think she’s available for the Commerce post though.