Genachowski to Commerce?

posted at 3:35 pm on March 8, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

When Jon Huntsman decided to return home from his position as Barack Obama’s ambassador to China, he set off a chain reaction that may end up quieting the effort at the FCC to expand its Net Neutrality regulation.  The White House has decided to nominate Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to fill Huntsman’s old job:

President Obama is going to make history Tuesday by naming Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to be U.S. ambassador to China, making him the first American of known Chinese ancestry to be named to that post.

Several news outlets are reporting that the president will make the announcement.

As the former governor of Washington state, Locke created relationships with senior Chinese officials.

As NPR guesses, Locke won’t have many problems gaining confirmation to the new post.  Locke has plenty of experience with China, which makes him more prepared than most ambassadors in most administrations; those posts normally get filled by fundraisers, except in more critical posts.  China is undoubtedly one of the most important postings in the foreign service, and the Senate will give Obama plenty of leeway on an appointment regardless of political perspectives, even the Republicans.  Locke has been a low-key member of Obama’s Cabinet, and should have a quick, low-key confirmation in the new post.

That leaves the Cabinet position open, and The Hill reports that FCC chair Julius Genachowski is on the short list:

The White House is considering FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski as a potential successor to Gary Locke as Secretary of Commerce, according to tech industry sources and prominent Democrats close to the White House.

Genachowski is among a list of names the White House has floated internally, along with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, other government officials, and top business executives, the sources said.

Seriously?  Not only has Genachowski become a lightning rod for controversy through his repeated attempts to conduct end-runs around Congress, but he has little significant experience to recommend him as a Cabinet Secretary.  The FCC chairmanship is the most significant post Genachowski has held in government, where usually Cabinet positions go to former governors and members of Congress, people who have proven experience in either running large organizations for longer than two years, or proven experience in political consensus-building, or both.  Genachowski’s two years at FCC hardly qualifies in any sense for a Cabinet-level position.

Furthermore, Genachowski will have to go through another confirmation hearing, and it will be as controversial as Locke’s will be routine.  Recall that Congress — when Democrats controlled both chambers by wide margins — had to slap down Genachowski when he first tried to impose Net Neutrality on the Internet industry.  Does Obama think that nominating someone who attempted to arrogate powers from Congress will get a hearty endorsement in taking over the Department of Commerce?  Republicans will almost certainly attempt to block Genachowski, and a few Democrats running in 2012 might be tempted to join them.

Still, it would mean that Genachowski would no longer be able to conduct mischief at the FCC.  But it also gives Obama an opportunity to get an FCC chair with less visibility to push the same agenda.


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President Obama is going to make history Tuesday

you’d think these guys would get over the ‘making history’ angle by now… I mean, c’mon, he’s president so, by nature, most of what he does ends up being historic. Nominating some toolbag to some post is pretty small ‘taters and not really worthy of mention as being ‘history-making‘, IMO.

ted c on March 8, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Furthermore, Genachowski will have to go through another confirmation hearing

hahahahahahahahaha! That’s rich. Confirmation hearings…that’s for Republicans and other non-Democrats.

search4truth on March 8, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Ed, is Obama moving to the center, yet?

MeatHeadinCA on March 8, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Commerce Dept.

Isn’t that the government agency that’s supposed to run Everything?

Chip on March 8, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Doubling down on stupid once again.

Knucklehead on March 8, 2011 at 3:40 PM

How about we cut to the chase and eliminate the Commerce Department once Locke leaves? Besides the census, what good is it?

cthulhu on March 8, 2011 at 3:42 PM

President Obama is going to make history Tuesday

you’d think these guys would get over the ‘making history’ angle by now… I mean, c’mon, he’s president so, by nature, most of what he does ends up being historic. Nominating some toolbag to some post is pretty small ‘taters and not really worthy of mention as being ‘history-making‘, IMO.

ted c on March 8, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Yes,

Obama will be the first, and Last president to turn a once great nation into a third world cesspool, Yipppeee!

Chip on March 8, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Just about as much experience as the big “ZERO” had to be present (oops) president.

Bambi on March 8, 2011 at 3:43 PM

MeatHeadinCA on March 8, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Obama= American Political Center, as vampire=sunlight.

kingsjester on March 8, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Forget the Cabinet position…

… Who’s watching what all the Czars are doing behind closed doors?

I have a sick feeling in my stomach that one day near the end of 2012…

… the doors will open with the yell of “Surprise!!!”

Seven Percent Solution on March 8, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Charlatan
in
Chief

moving his chairs on the deck.

Schadenfreude on March 8, 2011 at 3:52 PM

But if he is Commerce Secretary, maybe Obama won’t talk to him during the next 2 years.

mydh12 on March 8, 2011 at 3:52 PM

The Boss Emeritus (Emerita?) may have a few things to say about Gary Locke. Michelle has done some bang-up work on his shady fundraising while governor.

irishspy on March 8, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Not only has Genachowski become a lightning rod for controversy through his repeated attempts to conduct end-runs around Congress, but he has little significant experience to recommend him as a Cabinet Secretary.

As if that forms some sort of logical argument in deciding who should be in the Cabinet.

Geithner’s claim to fame for finance was cheating on his taxes, and getting away with some of it.

BobMbx on March 8, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Lets Locke out Democrats and “Trump” Obama in 2012 …

wheels on March 8, 2011 at 4:04 PM

As the former governor of Washington state, Locke created relationships with senior Chinese officials.

Remember when the lefties went all berzerk about Palin claiming to have experience dealing with foreign leaders as the governor of Alaska? Yeah, that never happens.

Scrappy on March 8, 2011 at 4:06 PM

No smarts,hustler, friend of o,therefore highly qualified to screw something else up.
Hold endless hearings on both Lock and geno whatever.
bumma is trying to get D rated speaking gigs at high schools now so he will not fight hard for appointments.
Shutting commerce down and moving the census over to the banking data servers that issue credit cards would be a good move.
The banks have a better idea where you are than the FBI.

Col.John Wm. Reed on March 8, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Not only has Genachowski become a lightning rod for controversy through his repeated attempts to conduct end-runs around Congress

Only in the conservative media echo-chamber.

ernesto on March 8, 2011 at 4:10 PM

I see the kids are still in charge in this administration.

Gothguy on March 8, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Not only has Genachowski become a lightning rod for controversy through his repeated attempts to conduct end-runs around Congress
Only in the conservative media echo-chamber.

ernesto on March 8, 2011 at 4:10 PM

One hundred eleven Representatives — 74 of them Democrats — signed two separate letters telling Genachowski that the FCC should not consider proceeding with new regulations without explicit direction from Congress. Democrats worried about the impact on jobs

Good old ernesto. Still full of it.

Vince on March 8, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Genachowski… has little significant experience to recommend him as a Cabinet Secretary.

Perhaps Obama is trying to promote Genachowski so he, Obama, will no longer be the least qualified person in any room.

RJL on March 8, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Doing for Commerce what he’s done for the Internet and those under the FCC dominion?

Perfect!!!

What next?……..Cass Sunstein for President 2016!!!

PappyD61 on March 8, 2011 at 6:05 PM

he has little significant experience to recommend him

Hell, that didn’t stop Barry from becoming president.

Thanks to all those idiots who voted for him.

GarandFan on March 8, 2011 at 6:32 PM