February 4, 2009

Didn't Judd Gregg play a similar game that got Blago impeached over? He wanted something in return for him to give up his Senate seat to join Obama's cabinet.

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, has agreed — in a deal struck with Gregg — to name a Republican to fill the Senate seat.

Democratic officials say Lynch intends to select Bonnie Newman, Gregg's former chief of staff, and that she intends to step down rather than run in 2010 for a full term. That would create the possibility of a highly competitive race for a seat that long has been in Republican hands.

On Tuesday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Lynch called the White House to "voice his support" for Gregg after reports surfaced that the senator was under consideration. But Gibbs also denied that the White House had anything to do with the selection of Obama's successor. "This White House is not involved with picking who will be the next senator" or the political party of any successor, Gibbs said.

I saw Rachel Maddow mention that he voted to abolish the position altogether back in '95. John Lynch could have picked anyone at all to replace him. It's his prerogative, but Gregg demanded that the Democratic governor choose a Republican to fill his seat. Wouldn't that be good enough for a Patrick Fitzgerald type to get involved? I'm just sayin'. Gregg should have taken the job without any preconditions if he wanted it.

Russ Feingold weighs in:

“But the apparent behind-the-scenes deal-making that went on to determine who will fill Senator Gregg's vacancy is alarmingly undemocratic. Once again, Americans will be represented in the Senate for nearly two years by someone they had no hand in electing. As the number of Senators appointed to their seats continues to rise, it’s increasingly clear that we need to fix this constitutional anachronism. It is time to pass a constitutional amendment to end appointments by governors and the political gamesmanship they encourage.”

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