President Obama is apparently not one to hold grudges.
Senator Judd Gregg, a New Hampshire Republican, didn't help Obama -- and actually embarrassed him -- by pulling a stunning about-face last week and withdrawing as the new president's nominee for commerce secretary.
But Obama is inviting him back to the White House anyway for a "fiscal responsibility summit" on Monday that will tackle issues dear to Gregg, such as entitlement reform.
"I've been asked by the President, along with a number of other Members of Congress, to join him next Monday," Gregg said in a statement. "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."
"Reform is urgently needed, especially as long-term entitlement spending threatens to strangle our economy, and action must be taken sooner rather than later," Gregg added. "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."
In withdrawing his name, Gregg said he concluded he had too many policy differences with Obama, including on the stimulus plan that the president signed on Tuesday.
"Our country is facing one of the greatest economic challenges of our lifetime, and I believe sizable action is needed to help our economy begin moving forward again. Today, the American people are worried about their jobs, home values, retirement savings, and Main Street businesses, and we need an economic plan that brings immediate relief, creates jobs, and strengthens American production to get our nation back on course," Gregg said in a statement on his office's website.
"However, I am concerned that this so-called stimulus bill falls short of what is needed. What was initially advertised as a well-intended effort to boost economic growth has become sidetracked by misplaced spending and lack of attention to the true problems facing the nation, especially housing. Massive amounts of money will be spent years after this bill is signed into law, thereby undermining claims that it is stimulative. Also, the bill’s tax relief provisions will not adequately spur investment and business activity, which are critical for job creation and economic growth.
"This bill, therefore, is not timely, targeted, and temporary, which is what a stimulus bill should be. And with a deteriorating budget situation, we cannot afford a proposal that will saddle future generations with massive amounts of debt with little to show for it in return.”
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.