It was only a matter of time. Thanks in part to a trove of inappropriate e-mails, Brett McGurk, President Obama's nominee to be the next envoy to Iraq, has withdrawn his nomination. McGurk's withdrawal comes less than a week after his wife, Gina Chon resigned from her Wall Street Journal job over emails the two exchanged while having an affair. (Officially, Chon's resignation was due to sharing a not-yet published story with McGurk.) "While we regret to see Brett withdraw his candidacy there is no doubt that he will be called on again to serve the country," said the National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement picked up by ABC News' Jake Tapper. The New York Times has a copy of McGurk's withdrawal letter, in which he writes:
It is with a heavy heart that I write to withdraw my nomination to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq. I am grateful for the continuing confidence that you have placed in me. But after much thought over the past week, and having discussed the issue with my wife, Gina, I believe it is in the best interests of the country, and of our life together, to withdraw my nomination and serve in another capacity ...
The most difficu1t part of this process, however, was watching my wife become a part of it. She is the most precious thing in the world to me, and the depiction of our relationship has been both surreal and devastating.
If you recall, McGurk's wife had resigned from her post at The Wall Street Journal and told her friends she was "collateral damage" following the leaking, via Flickr, of intimate emails the two exchanged in 2008 while Chon was reporting on Iraq and McGurk was a National Security Council member married to another woman. As Tapper and other sources have noted, McGurk was already facing a tough nomination process which certainly wasn't made easier by the revelation of the scandalous e-mails and the ensuing media fallout.