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Judd Gregg Reconciles with White House

By Anne E. Kornblut
Just yesterday, it seems, Sen. Judd Gregg had irreconcilable differences with the Obama administration -- so many that he withdrew his name from consideration to be commerce secretary.

But next week, Gregg will be back in the bosom of the administration, participating in a summit at the White House Monday on fiscal responsibility.

"I've been asked by the president, along with a number of other members of Congress, to join him next Monday for a Fiscal Responsibility Summit," Gregg said in a statement. "This is a very appropriate and needed action as we work to address our immediate and long-term economic future. My goal for the summit will be to address the long-term fiscal tsunami that is headed our way as a result of the cost of making payments to the Baby Boom generation through health and retirement entitlement programs."

Gregg continued: "Reform is urgently needed, especially as long-term entitlement spending threatens to strangle our economy, and action must be taken sooner rather than later. I will certainly do everything I can to work with the president and others in Congress to set a course for the long run that addresses the issue of how we pass on to our children a government they can afford."

White House officials said the Office of Management and Budget is still putting together its list of guests, but there is no reason to doubt that Gregg will be among them. He is a leading voice on budget issues in the Senate, and a close ally of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (now that he's back in the GOP fold). Gregg dropped out of consideration for the Cabinet last Thursday, saying he had not fully thought through what it would mean to work as an official in the Obama administration.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 18, 2009; 2:38 PM ET
Categories:  Cabinet  
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"There were two cabinet positions above all that Obama needed to get right in these tough times. Tresury and Commerce."

Really? Treasury is certainly important, but Commerce? I think I'd put State and Defense far, far ahead of Commerce, especially in these tough times.

Were you tempted to rate HHS as the third most important? Then everything would have lined up really nicely behind your pre-conceived opinions.

Posted by: nodebris | February 19, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

@Jaymand about Obama:

"Way to get thing done. In over his head."

Oh, and that Republican beacon of competence and intelligence name G. W. Bush did an excellent job.

Or Senator McCain who was and still is clueless about matters economic would fix the problem by giving even more tax cuts to the very, very rich.

After eight years of destroying the country, the Republicans and their supporters should really just shut up.

Posted by: aardman | February 18, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

so sorry guys and gals....
i did mean 40,000. i know you won't believe me but i did a typo on the entry.
i was trying to get lots on the boards at lunch.
so i was thinking, even less than the documented amount.
however, you get my drift on the entry.

entitle(ment): to give somebody the right to have or to do something.
Social Security is technically an entitlement program then, no?

you know, Baby Bush messed with the Social Security Act big time - took money out to fund grant programs for healthcare (albeit his intent was SOMEWHAT logical).

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 18, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

There were two cabinet positions above all that Obama needed to get right in these tough times. Tresury and Commerce. And he managed to screw both up. Good job. Thanks. Way to get thing done. In over his head.

Posted by: Jaymand | February 18, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

The whole world knows what the US conservative republican modus operandi has been for much too long. Their perverse ideology of inequality and rights only of their kind has not changed since the 39 conservative white men the representatives of the 12 colonies craved out the Constitution for their enterprise of plantations and slave ownership. They left out the three sacred words " equal for all" That is when it applied to Justice, welfare, blessings of liberty and posterity.

To that end the like of Judd Gregg is not much different.

Yes indeed, Obama should invite the SOB but then give him his kind of cup of tea and send the SOB on his way, to mingle with his own perverted kind.

These SOBs car less about the country or else after 8 years of their George W. Bush and Cheney would would not be in this predicament.

Posted by: goldengate | February 18, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I do not believe that paying into Social Security and then collecting when I retire is an "entitlement". It sounds like they are trying to do away with Social Security...I guess I'll be working till I'm 80!

Posted by: nursehope | February 18, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Here are the official numbers from

Year of Death or Declaration of Death Number of Records
1956-1960 9
1961 16
1962 52
1963 118
1964 206
1965 1,863
1966 6,143
1967 11,153
1968 16,592
1969 11,616
1970 6,081
1971 2,357
1972 641
1973 168
1974 178
1975 161
1976 77
1977 96
1978 447
1979 148
1980 26
1981-1990 34
1991-1998 11
Total 58,193

You can see this includes folks who died of injuries suffered during the war. What it doesn't include are suicides, the homeless, or the injured who have survived.

Infoplease offers the following additional information:

Vietnam War (1964–1975)
Total servicemembers 8,744,000
Serving in-theater 3,403,000
Battle deaths 47,424
Other deaths in service (theater) 10,785
Other deaths in service (nontheater) 32,000
Nonmortal woundings 153,303

Posted by: abqcleve | February 18, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Would someone please tell me how Social Security could possible be an 'Entitlement'?? I paid, my employer paid and the Gov't spent. I firmly beleive that SS is NOT an entitlement. So dont go messing with it......Stop taking money out of it for wars,etc....and it will be just fine.

Posted by: faray | February 18, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

In these deeply troubled times, here is a simple reality check: with the exception of official Washington and some folks in New Hampshire, 99% of Americans don't care one whit about Judd Gregg!

Posted by: zephyr99 | February 18, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse


I think it was about 50,000 or so Americans who lost their lives fighting in Viet Nam. Still a tragic number, but thankfully quite a bit less than 240,000. I think the latter number may actually be the number of Americans lost in WWII.

Posted by: mark51 | February 18, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

After eight years of expert, business-like, and properly attired control of the government, Republicans now sit back and relax themselves by criticizing steps taken to reverse the damage they caused. They got their money and property. And, best of all, they've seen to it the rest of us had ours taken away. The best revenge on a Republican is to deprive it of stuff it owns.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | February 18, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

They DID get a room: The Oval Office.

Posted by: ComfortablyDumb | February 18, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Wish WP and Obama would get a room already.

Posted by: SouthernCross2 | February 18, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

He would have been great at commerce.
Too bad the GOP didn't want him to have the job.

"Gregg's nomination initially pleased Republicans because he has opposed increased funding to the census and once supported abolishing the agency. But now they have begun to question his silence."

Fox News Feb. 12

Posted by: JohnQuimby | February 18, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

How soon after his "I have been invited by the White House" statement will he back out this time? For Gregg it's all about him. His ego. Praising himself.

Posted by: Sutter | February 18, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

so gregg says:
My goal for the summit will be to address the long-term fiscal tsunami that is headed our way as a result of the cost of making payments to the Baby Boom generation through health and retirement entitlement programs."

give it to me later Gregg. How about all the payments for DECADES that have gone to the greatest generation? And are still going to their families in all sorts of forms of government programs???

You know, we lost a good portion of the baby boomer generation to Viet Nam. I think the final count was something in the range of 240,000.

Let's face the facts finally. The cost of the greatest generation broke us before we even began THINKING about how the alleged "baby boomer generation" might affect government programs.
The stats keep changing on baby boomers. The years of birth that are considered "in the baby boomer generation" keep flucuating at the will of elected officials who need the stats of this generation to prove their points of failure with the programs.

If you served in WW2 like the greatest generation, your wife, your kids, and their kids got every benefit from just about every government program there was and those benefits lasted YEARS and DECADES. The greatest generation widows and families of that war lived on our programs for decades-because of the underlying behavior that "we owe them".
Well, they broke us and now we are trying to avert it (every so slightly) to "it will be the baby boomers who break us".

not even for a minute.
For one i.e.: WW2 vet dies on the field of battle. Widow (cause they married back then) lived her entire life on government money, got her house from Vet money, and quite possibly handed program money down (veterans are the richest agency in federal gov) to their children.
Vietnam vet families - what did they get if they weren't married? As was the way in the 60s and 70s. What did our vietnam vets get? Uh, now you tell me that.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 18, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Good for Gregg. He's entitled to his opinion, and the Obama admin. is entitled to its own. Too bad they couldn't work together -- but such is Washington!

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | February 18, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

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