President Obama's second nominee for Secretary of Commerce, Senator Judd Gregg, has withdrawn his name from consideration , citing policy differences with the stimulus plan and the Census. (The President wants the Census Bureau to report directly to the White House rather than the Commerce department . Coming just a week after Senator Daschle withdrew because of tax difficulties, the Commerce chair is beginning to resemble the Defense Against the Dark Arts job at Hogwarts.
Every President loses a Secretary or two at some point in their term, but after a month in office and only a dozen-odd picks, President Obama has had one withdrawal over policy, three shot down for tax evasion and/or other financial irregularities, one accepted despite such irregularities because his expertise was needed for the stimulus package, and one granted a waiver from the President's own month-old rules about ex-lobbyists serving. Not an auspicious beginning. I repeat what I said before ; Rahm Emanuel needs to fire someone, or withdraw himself, before this starts to damage the Presidency.