A Couple of Political Morsels to Chew On

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A Couple of Political Morsels to Chew On

The folks at Politico have a couple of intriguing stories posted.

First, there's this:

"Politico has learned that tomorrow Americans United for Change, a liberal group, will begin airing radio ads in three states Obama won - Ohio, Pennsylvania and Nevada - with a tough question aimed at the GOP senators there: Will you side with Obama or Rush Limbaugh?

"Every Republican member of the House chose to take Rush Limbaugh's advice," says the narrator after playing the conservative talk radio giant's declaration that he hopes Obama "fails."

"Every Republican voted with Limbaugh - and against creating 4 million new American jobs. We can understand why a extreme partisan like Rush Limbaugh wants President Obama's jobs program to fail - but the members of Congress elected to represent the citizens in their districts? That's another matter. Now the Obama plan goes to the Senate, and the question is: Will our Senator"-here the ad is tailored by state to name George Voinovich in Ohio, Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania, and John Ensign in Nevada-"side with Rush Limbaugh too?"

I think that's pretty well played. I doubt it will have much impact, but it's smart politics nonetheless. Casting it as a choice between Obama - with a 65 percent approval rating in the new Fox poll, and only 16 percent disapproval - and the controversial Limbaugh is a nice touch.

So is this, if it pans out:

"Senate sources say that President Barack Obama is considering New Hampshire Republican Judd Gregg for the still-open Commerce secretary slot - a possibility that could give Democrats the 60-vote margin in the Senate that they weren't able to win at the polls in November.

Asked whether he'd been offered the Commerce job, Gregg told Politico: "I am not at liberty to discuss that."

"I wouldn't want to see him leave the Senate," said Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.). "That's a pretty sneaky move - get a really good person as Commerce secretary and then put us in a bind politically."

NH has a Democratic governor who would likely name a Democrat to replace Gregg. And as Politico points out, Gregg's up for reelection in 2010 in a state trending blue, and has recently spoken well of Obama.

Jay Bookman

Jay Bookman is a columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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