Saturday, 14 February 2009

Seeing The Writing On The Wall…

And another of Obama’s Cabinet choices leaves – though not, this time, for implications of corruption or tax evasion:
Mr Gregg, who was nominated as Commerce Secretary last week after Governor Bill Richardson had pulled out after he was implicated in a corruption investigation, cited disagreements over the massive economic stimulus bill as a principal reason for his decision.

There were "irresolvable conflicts" over Mr Obama's handling of the nearly $800 billion (£561 billion) economic stimulus bill, expected to pass in both houses of Congress on Friday, and control of the 2010 census. Mr Gregg, 61, is Obama's third Cabinet choice to step aside and the first for reasons of political principle.
I wonder if he’ll be the last…?
Mr Obama promised that his presidency would usher in a new era of bipartisanship in Washington. But while two Republicans, Bob Gates, the Pentagon chief, and Ray LaHood, the transportation secretary, remain in his cabinet, only three Republicans out of 219 in Congress voted for the stimulus bill.
Yes, Obama promised many, many things. Now, he’s finding out that delivering them is not so easy…
"We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy," Mr Gregg said in a statement. He said that "prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns".
He made a point of accepting blame for this, and praising Obama.

But Obama’s handlers staff weren’t about to be as gracious:
Clearly irritated by the surprise move, the White House sought to heap the blame on Mr Gregg. "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," Robert Gibbs, the press secretary, said in a terse statement.

"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".
Perhaps Gregg wasn’t told about the entirety of those policies…? Or perhaps the policies had changed since Gregg was advised of them…?
The Commerce Department has jurisdiction over the Census Bureau, and the Obama administration recently took steps to assert greater control over the 2010 census. Republicans have harshly criticised the decision, charging it was an attempt to politicise the survey, taken every 10 years, possibly in an attempt to redraw congressional districts.
Hmmm, planning a bit of gerrymandering, is he? Well, it’s ‘change’, I suppose.

Even ‘hope’, given that he never properly articulated exactly what it was he was hoping for


Old BE said...

Hohoho I'm sure I suggested some time ago that a lot of people would be very disappointed! Did Obama actually use the phrase "purer than pure" or was I hallucinating?

JuliaM said...

Well, I think Michael Bates said it about him, but I didn't see anywhere that he rushed to dispell the notion... :)

Anonymous said...

Ta, I have added it to the list at

Ted said...

Obama’s stealing the census from Congress has suddenly awakened and enraged the Republicans. Maybe this will arouse them as well to challenge Obama for stealing the Presidency itself. They surely know he is not an Article 2 “natural born citizen” (which is more than merely being a 14th Amendment “citizen”) by virtue of either Obama’s birth to a dad of Kenyan/British citizenship or birth in Kenya itself — as manifested by his unwillingness to supply his long form birth certificate now under seal.