Obama to Tap Gregg on Tuesday

Posted February 2, 2009 at 7:45pm

President Barack Obama plans to name Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) as his Commerce secretary on Tuesday, a White House official said this evening. New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch (D) is expected to replace Gregg with a Republican so that the balance of the Senate makeup does not change, although it is unclear when the appointment will be made.

Gregg’s nomination, which was first reported this evening by Politico, will bring to a close a search that has lasted weeks, since New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was forced to withdraw his appointment because of a brewing pay-to-play scandal in his home state.

Gregg would be the third Republican in Obama’s Cabinet, along with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. As Commerce secretary, Gregg will join Obama’s economic team, adding a GOP voice to Obama’s drive to secure passage of an economic stimulus bill and other legislation.