Late yesterday afternoon at the Examiner, we were putting the finishing touches on an editorial whose opening line was that Judd Gregg should withdraw as nominee Commerce Secretary because of the affront to his integrity represented by the White House plan to take the census away from Commerce and politicize it under the White House. Obviously, events overtook us: Gregg moved before we could publish!
So here’s what we said instead:
Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire was absolutely right to withdraw as the nominee to be secretary of commerce, citing “irresolvable conflicts” regarding the stimulus package and the census. It is the latter issue that has the most direct bearing on the job at the Commerce Department. A recent White House announcement on the census amounted to a direct challenge to Gregg’s autonomy and a dangerous politicization of a process that should be scrupulously apolitical.
Please do open the link and read the whole thing.