February 12th, 2009
09:51 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Cabinet Shake-Up

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/12/gregg.nomination/art.gregg.obama.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Judd Gregg says it was a 'mistake' to accept President Obama's nomination."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Pres. Obama has a new cabinet problem on his hands.  Sen. Judd Gregg has withdrawn his nomination as Commerce Secretary citing "irresolvable conflicts" over the stimulus bill and the 2010 census.

Gregg is the second person to pull out of consideration for the job. The first was New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who withdrew in last month citing the distraction of a federal investigation into whether he played an improper role in getting state business to a company that gave cash to his political action committees.  And, this is the third Cabinet nominee overall to step aside when you count last week's decision by Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Tom Daschle to quit over tax issues.

Tonight we'll have the raw politics of Gregg's decision. Pres. Obama touted the pick as working across party lines, since Gregg is a Republican.  But is there a "GOP war" against Obama, as one columnist mentioned today? We'll dig into that tonight on AC360°.

Plus, Angelina Jolie and the octuplets' mom.  The unlikely twins. The Hollywood star is speaking out about their eerie connection.

We'll have those stories and more startng at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. A. Hall

    To me, this entire thing seems like a stunt that was setup from the beginning. Why would this guy be the first to approach them knowing full well what the agenda is only to back out after a 'closed door meeting'. The republicans are clearly trying to use this to 'prove Obama and Democrats are bad' since that is all they have to hang their hat on and they need it desparately to survive. They offer zero solutions other than trying to prove the other guy is bad. Is there anyone out there willing to look into and talk about this angle? I don't know how they can get away with it...it is completely obvious and quite honestly sad, that we let them get away with old and tired spin when we are in a crisis. No on wants it. These are all just stupid tricks that have always been part of the game, but no one cares right now, and it would be wonderful for someone to call them out on it!

    February 13, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  2. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    It would appear that every time Obama reaches across the aisle---well, he gets bitten--bipartisanship at it best.

    February 13, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  3. Als

    Please ask correspondent Joe John why he can not call President Obama President. I also noticed that he is not the only one. The American people elected Pres Obama. If nobody will tell John or the other correspondents, they look bad on CNN. The world is watching and the President is popular around the world. Ted Turner need to have a meeting with all of you because you really look bad Pres Bush was respected when he was President. I don't want to see a double standard here. One word of advice we all can be replaced. This was a recovery bill not a stimulous bill get your facts straight before you report the news. I had a tour of CNN in Atlanta Georgia.

    February 13, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  4. Patrick from Bäle

    What is going on? Administration appointments and cabinet post nominations are not sporting events. Let them work work themselves out. What are all these comments, opinions, speculations about anyway–winning or losing? Everything is a game right? It couldn't be just about human beings working out life's opportunities. Leave it alone! Do something constructive, go hug your kids or your dog, then comment, opinionate, even speculate about it. The 'game' goes on!

    February 13, 2009 at 3:10 am |
  5. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    We need a Genuine Pro-American BUY AMERICAN in this position. Judd Gregg was a clear throw back to G W Bush's policies of OUTSOURCE to COMMUNIST China and SOCIALIST India. I hope the President will choose someone now who can help rebuild our own American Industrial and Manufacturing Infrastructure.

    February 13, 2009 at 3:03 am |
  6. Amit

    This happens in business as well when candidates accept a job and then back out.
    customized seo

    February 13, 2009 at 2:36 am |
  7. J.V.Hodgson

    It is not necessarily a war against Obama, but it is certainly a clear indication of a total lack of any Bipartisan ship on behalf of this individual Republican, and no doubt the pressures on him from the Party big wigs. Cannot have a fair census as too many new voters likely to Democrats!?!?
    McCain, Palin talked the talk about working accross party lines or aisles, but are not walking the walk.
    The sad part is that it is the same old Party ideology from Republicans, and who compromised.?. the Obama administration, and which President at least talked to Opposition party leaders? ( Bush simply vetoed anything he did not like).
    Please Republicans put the nation and voters first, and admit that the solutions you made when in power, did not work and created the crisis, and stop being so childish and clinging to ideology that failed us all.

    February 13, 2009 at 2:15 am |
  8. KrisK

    Why is the media so desperate to create and sustain this narrative ..."Obama is on the ropes,...in trouble,....having serious problems....losing control...no time for victory....another crisis looming for the president".
    Aren't the real issues concerning the American people enough to keep you guys in business. Turning every political event into a potential crisis for Obama WILL NOT decrease public confidence in Obama. It just makes people tune out the media.
    Heck, the man has been in office short of a month and has accoplished more on behalf of the American people than W did in 8 years. Face it, he's doing a good job so far, despite the normal ups and downs of transitioning into the White House. Leave it at that already.

    February 13, 2009 at 1:47 am |
  9. Gregory B

    Judd Greg:

    I think this a cold slap in the face to President Obama and a lack of respect on the part of senator Greg. It shows that Judd Greg does not have the heart to fight for new ideas. The Republican party is doing it's best not to agree with the President. The Republican party is still stuck on old ideas and are unwilling to give new ideas a chance. Remember that they were in charge for 20 of the last 28 years and the country has come to such a mess. However, time will let all of us know that the President's Plan is the right plan for the country. The Republicans will lose more seats in Congress in the next elections. The new ideas of the President will prevail him to 2 terms.

    February 13, 2009 at 1:23 am |
  10. JD

    Are we seeing a pattern from the GOP yet? You bet!

    1. Zero votes in the House for the stimulous
    2. All but 2-3 in the Senate vote against stimulous
    3. The 2-3 that voted for it are taking serious heat for breaking rank
    4. Gregg bails on his bid for cabinet post (The GOP's forced him to, duh!)

    Anti-democrat campaign because of bruised egos and complete loss of power? You bet. Continued efforts by the GOP to paint the Dems in bad light for the next 4 years at every opportunity. You bet. Fox News on the bandwagon for the duration to keep every negative comment flowing into the public. Absolutely.

    Their down-side will be if the economy recovers by the next election without their co-operation, they will lose again. They are betting the house that the Dems will fail with the economy so the GOP can throw the kitchen sink at them in 2012. The GOp is not interested in accomplishing ANYTHING in the next 4 years but bringing down the Dems, even if their constituants starve to death in the process. The politicians have plenty of dough to hold them over.

    Sad politics, but what else have we come to expect from the GOP. We all saw then at work just a few months ago with their riot/rally tactics in the election. Notice none of them EVER mention George Bush's name or policies!

    I hope the economy recovers over the next few years and then the GOP will lose heavily in 2012 again.

    February 13, 2009 at 1:22 am |
  11. jessie harvey

    War on obama,sounds like sour grapes to me,we all and I mean all should be behide him.no matter what

    February 12, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  12. John Stohrer

    Up here in NH, there seems to be a feeling that Judd Gregg made a 2010 Republican decision. Individuals interested in running for Gregg's Senate seat in 2010 have commented that the Republican the governor has proposed to replace Gregg would be relatively easy to beat.in the next election. It's the most logical answer to Gregg's decision. While it may not be the complete answer, considering the density of the northern Republican mind, it must have weighed in quite heavily..

    February 12, 2009 at 11:37 pm |
  13. John, East Coast

    I wouldn't be surprised if later on we'd find out that this guy is an insurgent the GOP planted in the Obama's Adm. to disrupt and cause face-loss to the President. I wouldn't be surprised if this is one of the conspiracies the GOP had dreamt up since Nov. 4th. The GOP cannot and will not let the Dem have it all because if the Dem can do all, then why the hell would the country need the GOP for. Let's wait until the next election. I wish the country will vote all of the useless congressman out of office.

    Sadly John,

    February 12, 2009 at 11:30 pm |
  14. suelouise1

    Hi Anderson:
    First, regarding the Calif women who gave birth to octoplets, I believe this a cautionary metaphor for the overtasting and overextending of the American population regarding debt. So many of us are saddled with so much of it that there are gross dislocations in all that is meant to be good – life itself.

    Secondly, I believe that Mr. Gregg's decision was not based on partisanship politics, but rather, a desire to be more useful in the Senate having had vertigo once he saw the massive problems facing him at the Commerce Department.


    February 12, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  15. Gladys Onstott


    I am listening to your story on Judd Greg, and all I can think of his all of this is simply BS.

    Here we go back to the old "Good Old Boys" in Washington, and none of the Republicans seem to give a damn about the common man. All they care about is their al mighty "party". I could care less if my president is republican or democrat if they truly care and try to put us first instead of their egos and BS which is what always happens.

    Our congressmen should be ashamed of themselves, because they have a cushy job, and aren't facing, the streets like the majority of us.

    But then again, maybe that's what needs to happen to some of them before they finally get it. Can't they tell, that the American public has made their choice and they elected Barack Obama and John McCain lost. Stop the boo-hooing and get down to the work of solving this problem. It would have been easier to just give all working men and women a million dollars, and let us decide what to do with it, because it is the common man who will get this economy going again, and not our Congressmen.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:20 pm |
  16. yolanda

    Judd Gregg took the coward way out. He had peer pressure from his counterparts. The Republicans are still licking their wounds and right now they are not ready to get on the band wagon. They are going to make it even harder because you have a Democratic President but with this President. He is a People President, also It is amazing what you can get accomplished when nobody gets the credit.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  17. concern/denver Colorado

    it is clear that he is no Colin Powel ...He is just another weak repubulican

    February 12, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  18. Don

    It has become painfully obvious after watching today's headlines that this antiquated Congress currently in power, Democrat and Republican alike, needs to be voted out of office and replaced with a new, young, vibrant, and forward-looking Congress.

    This current Congress is on the road to literally tearing this country apart.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  19. hari

    I am not convinced some how that it is about the census that Mr.Gregg pulled out.
    I think the republicans might have forced him to drop out since if he is nominated, it looks so good on part of Obama to give three cabinet positions two of them being very crucial to republicans.

    To jamie: Why are we talking about RAHM? Of course the president's chief of staff will be partisan and work for the president.
    Is Andrew card or Karl Rove bipartisan?
    Give me a break...

    February 12, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  20. Henya

    Yes I agree with all comets, they are fitting for they lives Gregg got so much you know what from his fellow Republicans that he had to quit, our President all ready moved on,

    February 12, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  21. Monica

    Anderson, I truly admire you in many ways, but never more than when you have to report about a gang of "boys"(read: Republicans fighting with another gang of "boys" (read: Democrats) when one of the boys wants to play with the other gang and eventually everyone discovers that they are trying to build the same fort except that one group has the materials and the other group the tools.
    Imagine how wonderful it would be if they coopreated and built a great fort for the entire needy neiborhood to enjoy!

    February 12, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  22. gigi

    I know that the president wants to work with the republicans,but they are doing everything they can to make him look bad.How long can you keep offering a friendly hand when all you get back is a clinched fist,I think it's time the pres take a tougher stand and just leave them alone they are playing politics,and its going to come back on them in the next ELECTION

    February 12, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  23. jim

    I think Gregg backed out because the census was taking away from him and the republicans couldn't rig the census to faver the red

    February 12, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  24. Melissa

    It was better for Gregg to leave before he committed himself. If he doesn't believe in it, then he should not do it. This is probably a blessing in disguise. President Obama should take it with a grain of salt, move on and not lose his focus.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  25. Aura

    It is quite clear (at least to me!) that Republicans are scared to death that Obama will succeed in moving this country forward and then where would they be come next election. It is not about making things better for the American people, it is strictly about their own survival; a continuation of politics over people. I"m so-o-o-o tired of the Republicans and all those who really don't care about "by the people and for the people".

    February 12, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  26. Jamie

    HA! How about because it was taken from him and given to super Rahm who will most likely stack the deck in his parties favor. Since when has Rahm been anything other than partisan.

    And it's "census".

    Someone please remind Rahm that the illegals don't get counted.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  27. R.on , West Coast

    The Democrats didnt need that coward anyway . I say good riddance !
    Gregg also did not like the fact that he wouldnt be able to oversee the operation of the 2010` census count , and we know how those republicrooks count , " one for you , two for me , one for you , three for me , one for you , four for me "...... etc. etc. etc .........

    February 12, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  28. hari

    What a coward is this guy Judd gregg. He is the one who approached Obama that he wants a cabinet position and not interested in continuing in the senate.
    After Obama granted him one after the vetting process, and explaining him his policies, and possible conflicts, he agrees to take the job.

    He found the time when Obama was out of town and he did not even call Obama as a courtesy of informing his decision in person or on the phone. He announced that he is quitting quoting some differences with stimulus package and census which he knew before he agreed to take the job.

    He is not even bold enough to say that in person looking into Obama's eyes. Bipartisan as the word says needs effort from both parties to come together. Why is it always the republicans are the ones to be on the bagging side? I cant stand them even being in the minority.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  29. Glenda

    Gregg is lying. It is a reflection on him not the president. This happens in business as well when candidates accept a job and then back out. There is a natural % of this occuring in business. It is most always a reflection of the candidate.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  30. jim

    I think Gregg backed out because the censers was taken away from him and the republicans couldn't rig the censers to favor more money to go to the red states.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:05 pm |