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Third time's a charm for commerce secretary?

February 25, 2009 - Per Peterson
President Barack Obama said Wednesday that former Washington Gov. Gary Locke “is the right man for this job” after introducing him as his nominee for commerce secretary, trying a third time to fill a key Cabinet post for a country in recession. Obama initially chose New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, for the Cabinet post, calling him ‘‘uniquely suited for this role’’ and ‘‘a leader who shares my values.’’ But Richardson withdrew in January, before Obama took office, after the disclosure that a grand jury is investigating allegations of wrongdoing in the awarding of contracts in his state. A month later, Obama announced that Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire had accepted the job. The president said Gregg was ‘‘the right person’’ to lead the agency and someone would be ‘‘a trusted voice’’ in the Cabinet. But a week after that, Gregg stepped down, citing ‘‘irresolvable conflicts’’ with the policies of the Democratic president.’’ I don’t know how many “right” people there are for this job — sounds like just about anyone can have it if they want it. But does anyone WANT it? A circus owner wouldn’t have this much trouble finding someone to shave the Bearded Lady’s armpits. And at what point do we begin to question the president’s judgement on filling out his cabinet? As we stand, he’s chosen three different men for this job — all apparently the “right” man for the position — and two of them bowed out. Obviously, they didn’t share the president’s high opinion of themselves.


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