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The never-ending saga of Obama's staffing problems

Text by Julien PEYRON

Latest update : 2009-02-13

In yet another blow for US President Barack Obama, his newest candidate for Commerce Secretary - Judd Gregg - has turned down the post, citing "irresolvable" differences with the president on economic policy.

The ongoing saga of US President Barack Obama's staffing problems continue. Three weeks into his term, and his government is still not assembled. Judd Gregg, named to the post of Commerce Secretary, turned down the offer on Wednesday. The Republican senator would have been an important symbol in Obama’s attempts to put together a bipartisan government.

 

Explaining his decision, Gregg referred to “irresolvable conflicts” with Obama over the latter’s economic stimulus plan, which Republicans continue to block in Congress.

 

The post of Commerce Secretary seems tainted with bad luck. Before Gregg’s refusal, Bill Richardson had left the post after becoming the object of an investigation for corporate malfeasance in his home state of New Mexico, of which he is governor.

 

Gregg’s refusal is just one in a long list. The nominations of Tom Daschle to the head of the department of health, and Nancy Killefer, named as government budget watchdog, ended when they resigned on February 3 amid personal tax issues. This was a blow to Obama, who had run his campaign on the promise of increased transparency in Washington.

 

Date created : 2009-02-13

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