Senator Judd Gregg has withdrawn his nomination for secretary of Commerce. Key passage in his letter: "I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me." Evidently the White House strong-arming on the Census bothered him, and showed that he would not be in command of his department. But his nomination focused attention on the Census, and I think it is going to be more closely watched than it would have been if Gregg had never been nominated. Gregg says he will stay in the Senate but will probably not run for reelection in 2010. If he does run, the fact that Barack Obama nominated him will be a political plus in the New Hampshire.
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By Michael Barone