I have been trying to watch closely, who our President for Change Barack Obama will appoint to various key positions in government. And it has been announced that the Senator from New Hampshire, Judd Gregg, a republican, will fill the shoes of Commerce Secretary, pending Senate approval.
My main issue, is the fact that last week Gregg was quoted as saying:
A stimulus package should be temporary, targeted and timely, he said then. What we're getting here is something that's unfocused and unending.
Personally, what I feel it was an attempt to obtain a majority vote for his proposed $800 Billion (+) economic proposal, . We all know that although there is a shift in the majority of Democrats in Congress and Senate, Obama will need some type of bi-partisan support. While talking to press in the White House's Grand Foyer, and in an effort to disway an opinion like my own, Obama enforced the notion, that party differences should not overshadow the progress that needs to be done, in terms of our economy.
"Clearly, Judd and I don't agree on every issue, Said Obama. ...But we agree on the urgent need to get American businesses and families back on their feet ... And we know the only way to solve the great challenges of our time is to put aside stale ideology and petty partisanship, and embrace what works."
Now, this has me wondering; 'Obama, is this for real, or are you playing into politics'? It is widely understood that the President is losing the majority Democrats, who seem more focused on smaller projects, then a leghthy and costly goal. And Republicans are far too concerned with what they feel is 'balloon spending'. There must have been some real shift in momentum if this isn't a ploy to gain sympathy, as Gregg sharply changed his opinion this week:
"This is not a time for partisanship, this is a time to govern and govern well." He said Obama's proposal is an "extraordinarily bold, aggressive, effective and comprehensive plan."
If the Senate agrees to the appointment, Judd will take over an agency which he voted to close in the 1995. Gregg, who is known to be a 'fiscal disciplinarian' will be in charge of creating jobs, issuing weather forecasts, regulating trademarks and conducting the 2010 census, amongst other things. With someone like Gregg, who is know to have a tight grip on his wallet, in charge of Commerce, Barack hopes to send the message that he his not a big spender, and that his plan is well calculated.
Initially the New Mexico Senator, Bill Richardson was named as the candidate for the Commerce Secretary position. However, after an investiagtion with the Grand Jury, involving a state contract that was awarded to his political donors, he withdrew his nomination.
The newly appointed Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, are also Republicans chosen by Obama.