Obama taps another Republican for post

President Barack Obama tapped another former Republican member of Congress to fill an executive-branch post, this time picking a close protege of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

ADVERTISEMENT
Obama on Tuesday sent former Rep. Anne Northup's (R-Ky.) nomination to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to the Senate, an appointment that will last for seven years.

Northup, a perpetually vulnerable Republican who held a seat based in Louisville, finally succumbed to political reality in 2006, losing to Rep. John Yarmuth (D). The following year, reportedly at McConnell's urging, Northup ran unsuccessfully against ethically embattled Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher in the primary. Fletcher went on to lose the general election to now-Gov. Steve Beshear (D).

Northup ran for her old job in 2008, losing to Yarmuth by a 59-41 percent margin.

After her third defeat in as many years, McConnell, who is also from the Louisville area, recommended her for a post on the CPSC.

"Anne Northup has a well-deserved reputation as a dedicated public servant, and I have no doubt she will serve with distinction as a commissioner of the CPSC," McConnell said in a statement.

Northup is the fourth member, either current or former, of the House Republican Conference to get a job in the Obama administration.

Ex-Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa) is chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, hitting the television circuits lately as the cash-for-clunkers program becomes more prominent, is a former congressman from Illinois. And Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.) underwent confirmation hearings for his new post as Army secretary last week; he is expected to be confirmed by the Senate this week.

The Obama administration has tried to reach out to at least one other House Republican. In June, Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), who is considering a bid for Senate, told reporters he had been approached about taking over as Obama's ambassador to Ireland. King declined the post; instead, it went to Pittsburgh Steelers owner and Obama supporter Dan Rooney.