Ed Morrissey writes that the Obama administration’s efforts to discredit Judd Gregg have begun:
The Obama administration wants to portray Gregg as a Judas who betrayed the One, but that’s only going to sell to the true believers. Even if Gregg did come to them, one has to ask what it was that convinced Gregg that the effort was no longer worth it. Gregg had no particular reason to hearken to Senate Republicans, especially since he’s apparently decided that he will end his public career at the end of this Senate term. Why not stay at Commerce?
The reason is because it became increasingly apparent that Obama wanted him only as window dressing. The Democrats made no effort to work with Republicans in any substantive manner on the stimulus bill, which would become one of Gregg’s main responsibilities after passage. His own ideas had largely been ignored; even if the broad outlines were known before his acceptance of the position, which is certainly true, Gregg may have expected Obama and the Democrats to welcome more input into the final product. After all, if they didn’t want that, why have him on board at all?
From a couple of sources around Capitol Hill, I’ve gotten the sense that the effort by Rahm Emanuel to strip the Census from Gregg was just the final straw and not the prime motivator behind his decision. It rendered Gregg even more of a political eunuch than the lockout on the stimulus plan, and underscored the fact that even as a Cabinet member, he would not have inside status with the Obama administration. Gregg would get trotted out as the Bipartisan Pony when Obama needed a beard. Some of us predicted just that when he accepted the position, and Gregg found out the hard way that he never should have done so.
The Post’s editorial board correctly notes that the Obama White House looked very poor in this instance. Gregg told them in advance that he would leave, and yet they got caught flat-footed at the announcement. Instead of presenting a calm and rational reaction, they looked petty and unprepared, while Obama gave a Snarker-in-Chief performance at a non-political event. Bad form, and once again, the Obama administration got exposed as amateurish and out of their depth.
Elsewhere at Hot Air, Ed spots far left blogger Andrew Sullivan with a serious case of–shocker!–projection, not to mention a remarkably faulty memory.
Related: “Keep It Classy, Guys.”