Franken confirmation could give Dems filibuster-proof majority

Looks like Al Franken could fillibuster-proof the Democratic majority in the Senate if he emerges victorious from the election court case -- and if a little strategy game by President Obama works out.  

Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, a Republican, is on Obama's short list of nominees for head of the Commerce Department, now that Gov. Bill Richardson of Arizona dropped out. If Franken wins the Minnesota seat and Gregg is replaced with a Democrat, the math adds up to 60.

Here's more from the Associated Press:

A Capitol Hill leadership aide said Thursday evening that Obama had talked with his party's leaders about the move to appoint Gregg, which could put Democrats within reach of a 60-person, filibuster-proof majority in the Senate if New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch were to name a fellow Democrat. 

Democrats hold a 56-41 majority in the 100-member Senate, and two independents caucus with them. The Senate seat from Minnesota remains undecided, with Sen. Norm Coleman and challenger Al Franken in a close, court-based contest.

Gregg has acknowledged that he's on the list, but it's not clear whether he'd take the position if its offered to him. Here's more from the Huffington Post:

The potential of Gregg leaving the Senate will almost certainly set off an intense lobbying effort from his fellow Republican senators to persuade him to turn down the Commerce post. 
Already, a GOP operative writes in to say: "No way that Gregg takes it."



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