Democratic 'Supermajority' is Back on the TableJanuary 29, 2009 - by Donny Shaw
Roll Call is reporting that President Obama is thinking about naming Republican Senator Judd Gregg (NH) to serve as his Secretary of Commerce. Sam Stein, the Huffington Post’s D.C. reporter, is calling it a “strong possibility.”
Here’s why this is a potentially big deal: if Gregg accepts the job, New Hampshire Governor John Lynch, a Democrat, would appoint Gregg’s replacement, giving Senate Democrats the 60-seat majority they have been hoping for (assuming Al Franken is seated in Minnesota). Sixty is the number of votes that are needed to overcome cloture, a parliamentary motion that is often used by the minority party to block majority-party legislation.
It would mean that the Democrats would be in a position to push virtually anything they wanted through Congress this session, as long no one in their party defects in the Senate.
Expect a heavy push from the right telling Gregg to turn the offer down.
And related: check out this excellent analysis from Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEighty showing which GOP Senators have been voting with Obama the most this session. I was shocked to see Gregg as #2 on the list.
UPDATE: Kagro X at Congress Matters has a more detailed breakdown of Gregg’s votes so far this session.