President Barack Obama on Tuesday nominated a Republican, Senator Judd Gregg, to serve as commerce secretary, replacing New Mexico governor Bill Richardson who withdrew his name last month.
Obama called on the Senate to rapidly confirm Gregg, from New Hampshire, so that he could get to work on the boosting US trade as the administration battles the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.
"With the stakes this high, we cannot afford to get trapped in the same old partisan gridlock," Obama said, as he welcomed Gregg, the third Republican to serve in his cabinet after Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
"This is not a time for partisanship," Gregg said, as he was named by Obama at a White House ceremony.
"This is not a time when we should stand in our ideological corners and shout at each other."
Gregg's appointment was made possible when the Democratic governor of New Hampshire reportedly agreed not to name a Democrat to replace him in the Senate -- a move that could have altered the balance of power in Washington.
Richardson, governor of New Mexico and a former Democratic presidential candidate withdrew his nomination over a federal grand jury investigation into contracting in his home state.
Date created : 2009-02-03