Judd Gregg has had second thoughts. He won't be joining President Obama's cabinet after all.

Here's an excerpt from his statement:

I want to thank the President for nominating me to serve in his Cabinet as Secretary of Commerce.  This was a great honor, and I had felt that I could bring some views and ideas that would assist him in governing during this difficult time. I especially admire his willingness to reach across the aisle.

However, it has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me. Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.

Obviously the President requires a team that is fully supportive of all his initiatives.

I greatly admire President Obama and know our country will benefit from his leadership, but at this time I must withdraw my name from consideration for this position.

And here's the response from Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs.

Senator Gregg reached out to the President and offered his name for Secretary of Commerce. He was very clear throughout the interviewing process that despite past disagreements about policies, he would support, embrace, and move forward with the President’s agenda. Once it became clear after his nomination that Senator Gregg was not going to be supporting some of President Obama’s key economic priorities, it became necessary for Senator Gregg and the Obama administration to part ways. We regret that he has had a change of heart

I have no idea how Washington will interpret this. But, speaking only for myself, what's not to like? Obama can point to the episode as proof that he reaches out to Republicans. But now he gets to fill that slot with a Democrat. (For example, somebody like this.) 

Update: Sorry, I just noticed Mike had already reprinted the statements. Must be the slow ethernet connections out here in flyover land...

--Jonathan Cohn