Gregg to get Commerce, Dems to get 60 Senate seats?

President Obama is reportedly seriously considering naming GOP Sen. Judd Gregg as secretary of Commerce, paving the way for a filibuster-proof majority.

Published January 30, 2009 12:10AM (EST)

Both Roll Call and the Huffington Post are reporting that President Obama is thinking of nominating Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) to be secretary of Commerce. There'd be a special significance to this move, if indeed the president does make it: New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, who'd appoint Gregg's replacement, is a Democrat. He could appoint a fellow Democrat to replace Gregg, which would -- assuming Al Franken is declared the victor of his race when the legal battle over that seat is finished -- give the party 60 seats in the Senate, a theoretically filibuster-proof majority.

Obama had previously announced New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as his pick for the post, but Richardson withdrew due to an ongoing investigation into one of his donors whose company has done business with the state.

Update: Gregg has now confirmed he's in the running. “I am aware that my name is one of those being considered by the White House for Secretary of Commerce, and am honored to be considered, along with others, for the position," he said in a statement. "Beyond that there is nothing more I can say at this time.”

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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Barack Obama Judd Gregg R-n.h.