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Blog of Mass Destruction

Tale of Two Deals

By The Reverend Published: February 4, 2009

Governor Blago-Bleep was a very, very bad governor up in Illinois. He wanted to make a deal for President Obama's vacated senate seat. That was a very, very bad thing to try to do. So bad that Patrick Fitzgerald, all puffed up and self-righteous acting, had to intervene and arrest the Illinois governor, cherry picking the most outrageous wiretap gab to read to his press conference audience, in an attempt to convince listeners that Blago was seeking a deal that he had no right to seek.....seeking a deal for a vacated senate seat was, you know, a crime.

Cue yesterday's announcement of Republican senator Judd Gregg as Obama's Commerce secretary.....

President Barack Obama announced today that he is nominating Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) to become the Commerce Secretary. Link

See if your can find any deal making or hint of deal making in the following quotes from Sunday's "Face the Nation".....

“Sen. Gregg has assured me that if this were to happen,(if Gregg took the Commerce offer) if it were to happen, it would not change the make-up of the Senate,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “In other words, whoever is appointed to replace him would caucus with Senate Republicans, so I think it would have no impact on the balance of power in the Senate.” Link

How would McConnell know that Gregg's leaving the senate for Commerce would have "no impact on the balance of power in the senate", unless a deal was being put together behind the scenes?

Other Senate Republicans made it clear Sunday that they’d be none too happy with Gregg if he left without such an agreement in place.

“I’m sure Sen. Gregg would not leave his seat if he thought a Democrat would take his seat; I just know he would not do that,” said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Link

Republicans would be "none too happy", if a deal had not been worked out ahead of time. A deal. Something for something. The same thing Blago was seeking in Illinois. And far from needing FBI wiretaps to expose the backroom deal making for Judd Gregg's vacated senate seat.....the behind the scenes deal makers boldly announced the deal publicly yesterday.....

Yesterday, Gregg and Gov. John Lynch commented publicly for the first time on the dramatic turn of events, making it clear that Democrat Lynch, with the blessing of the Obama administration and U.S. Senate Democratic and GOP leaders, is on board to name a Republican rather than a member of his own party when Gregg moves to the cabinet post.

But Gregg said, "I have made it clear to the Senate leadership on both sides of the aisle and to the governor that I would not leave the Senate if I felt my departure would cause a change in the makeup of the Senate. The Senate leadership, both Democratic and Republican, and the governor understand this concern and I appreciate their consideration of this position."

Gregg's statement came shortly after Lynch acknowledged for the first time he has "had conversations with Senator Gregg, the White House and U.S. Senate leadership.Link

Here's the quid pro quo...

Bonnie Newman, 63, is a moderate Republican who has backed Lynch's gubernatorial bids. As part of a deal linked to Gregg's departure, she has agreed to caucus with Senate Republicans and not to run for the seat in 2010. The Manchester Union Leader reports that Democratic Rep. Paul Hodes already has decided he will run for the seat. Link

Judd Gregg, asked to head the Obama Commerce department, wouldn't take the job unless he could make a deal insuring that his vacated seat would be filled by another Republican, something that is not the new Hampshire senator's right to do. That deal, obviously, was communicated with the New Hampshire Governor, the White House, and was guaranteed to Republicans. It is the deal that Gregg and the Republicans got.

Neither Senator Gregg, nor Governor Lynch used the f-word when announcing the deal they made behind the scenes.

So that makes it all legal.

Have I missed anything?

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