The Boston Globe's lead story: "Cabinet deal is set for Gregg." "President Obama plans to nominate Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire for secretary of commerce today… [NH Gov. John] Lynch said that Gregg would only take the job on condition that a Republican be appointed to serve out his term, an assertion Gregg quickly confirmed. … New Hampshire Democrats widely expect Lynch to choose J. Bonnie Newman, a Republican with extensive Washington experience and ties to both Gregg and Lynch." She's not expected to run again in 2010.
The New York Times has a tick-tock of how the Gregg idea came to fruition. "The idea of offering the job to Mr. Gregg came, at least in part, from the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada. (The two senators are close, aides to both men said.) Mr. Reid mentioned the idea to Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama's chief of staff, who passed it on to the president-elect."
How does Gregg explain this? CQ writes, "President Obama's new candidate to run the Commerce Department voted in favor of abolishing the agency as a member of the Budget Committee and on the Senate floor in 1995. Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., whose nomination was expected to be announced Tuesday, also worked in the Senate to trim the department's budget as head of the Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee."
"Gregg's 1995 votes were cast for the fiscal 1996 budget resolution, a nonbinding blueprint that outlined the GOP's fiscal priorities after Republicans won full control of Congress for the first time in 40 years."
"The Senate confirmed Eric H. Holder Jr. as the nation's first African American attorney general by a vote of 75 to 21 yesterday, opening a new chapter for a Justice Department that had suffered under allegations of improper political influence and policy disputes over wiretapping and harsh interrogation practices," the Washington Post says.
Meanwhile, John McCain "will no longer hold up the nomination of [Bill] Lynn, who came under scrutiny after he was granted a special waiver last month to sidestep the Obama administration's new ethics rules prohibiting former lobbyists from overseeing industries they represented within the previous two years. Last week, McCain had demanded more information on Lynn's role, ending last July, lobbying on behalf of the Waltham-based defense giant, which receives billions of dollars in contracts each year from the Pentagon. 'He received an adequate response from Mr. Lynn and intends to move forward with the nomination process,' McCain's office said in an e-mail." But Chuck Grassley remains unconvinced.
And the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Obama will tap Tammy Duckworth "to be an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs…Duckworth, a wounded Iraq war vet, will be assistant secretary of public and intergovernmental affairs. Duckworth is close to Obama, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, senior White House adviser. The announcement is expected today."