The finger pointing over who is more at fault for the whole Judd Gregg fiasco will go on for several days. Democrats are blaming Gregg for jilting them; Republicans are claiming Gregg’s withdrawal is a response to the Obama Administration’s hyper-partisan actions. The real issue is much simpler.
The question that begs to be asked is, who thought it was a good idea to nominate a senator who voted to eliminate the Commerce Department and has been a harsh critic of the census as Commerce Secretary in the first place? Gregg may have been a little naïve by accepting the appointment, but he shouldn’t be vilified now for seeing the light and doing the right thing. As for the Republicans’ accusations of Democratic hyper-partisanship, the November bloodbath was in large part a referendum on Republican policies, leadership, and practices. Obama has spent more time consulting with the other party in the past three weeks than the Bush Administration did in the four previous years.
The real issue here is that Gregg was improperly vetted, as were Tom Daschle, Bill Richardson, and Tim Geithner. The Obama Administration has done a lot of things well in its early days, and has made some excellent appointments, but its overall personnel record is disturbingly uneven, at best.