WASHINGTON, D. C. -- An Obama move may jeopardize McConnell's sway in the Senate speculates Jim Carroll, the veteran capitol corresponded for The Louisville Courier-Journal in its Sunday edition.
Carroll writes, "A bit of chess, Leader McConnell? That seems to be the implicit question from President Barack Obama as word spread through Washington late in the week that he is considering New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg as commerce secretary.
Gregg is a Republican in Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's caucus, and the Kentuckian already is barely hanging on to his power to block any Democratic moves that he dislikes.
So here is the politically fascinating gambit: Obama picks Gregg, which then triggers a new Senate appointment from New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch -- a Democrat.
McConnell must depend upon the kindness of a stranger, i.e., Lynch, to preserve his standing as Washington's most powerful and influential Republican.
The reason is math. The Senate Democrats now number 56. Add two independents who caucus with them. That's up to 58 votes.
Now, if Democratic challenger Al Franken does turn out to be the winner of the race against Republican Sen. Norm Coleman in Minnesota, make that 59 votes for the Democrats, reports The Louisville Courier-Journal.
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