Colorado’s Next Senator? – dnd

U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) is Obama’s pick for Secretary of Interior. Excellent pick. Salazar and Obama were standing next to each other when they were sworn into the Senate. Their Senate offices are side by side. They know each other.

Salazar is a 5th generation Coloradan. His family was in Colorado before there was a Colorado. Salazar was a water rights lawyer who ran Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources before he became Colorado’s Attorney General. There’s a saying out here in the arid west that whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting.

Take a look at his committee appointments:

* Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
o Subcommittee on Domestic and Foreign Marketing, Inspection, and Plant and Animal Health
o Subcommittee on Energy, Science and Technology
o Subcommittee on Rural Revitalization, Conservation, Forestry and Credit
* Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
o Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests
o Subcommittee on National Parks
o Subcommittee on Water and Power
* Committee on Finance
o Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure
o Subcommittee on Health Care
o Subcommittee on Taxation, IRS Oversight, and Long-Term Growth
* Select Committee on Ethics
* Special Committee on Aging

The majority of these subcommittees directly address issues faced by the Department of the Interior. Salazar has worked across the aisle throughout his political career which is vital for success in dealing with many of the contentious issues at Interior.

But who will Gov. Bill Ritter appoint to the vacant seat? Sure this doesn’t have the celebrity drama with Caroline Kennedy’s possibly replacing Sen. Clinton. Nor does will it have the scandal with Gov. Blagojevich attempting to sell Sen. Obama’s seat. But it’s all the buzz in Colorado.

Some of the names floated are:

Names floated as possible successors include:

* Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper

* U.S. Rep. John Salazar of Manassa

* U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Golden

* U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver

* Former U.S. Attorney Tom Strickland

* State House Speaker Andrew Romanoff

State Treasurer Cary Kennedy and former Mayor, two-time Clinton cabinet member, and Obama campaign co-chair Frederico Pena have also been mentioned.

Salazar’s term runs through 2010. Anyone picked will need enough state-wide appeal to get re-elected. John Salazar (Ken Salazar’s brother), with his appointment to the House Appropriations Committee, would have more power by staying put. Diana DeGette’s got a ton of seniority in the House. Strickland has been off the stage for a while and Romanoff is a little green. That leaves Hickenlooper and Perlmutter. Hick likes running the show, and probably has his eye on the governor’s office, but you never know. Perlmutter would no doubt like to upgrade to the Senate.

The other question is why would Salazar want to leave the Senate? By all accounts he’s a rising star and has a promising future as a major leader in the Senate. Speculation is that Interior may be his dream job.

This won’t get the press that’s focused on New York and Illinois. And that’s a good thing for Colorado and the next administration.

Note: This brings about an interesting development. Rep. Mark Udall (CD-2) won the Senate race for the seat vacated by Wayne Allard. With Salazar leaving, Udall will be Colorado’s senior Senator on his first day as a Senator. Fortunately this shouldn’t be an issue. Udall is the son of former Rep. Mo Udall and nephew of Stewart Udall. He knows his way around the DC beltway.



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74 responses to “Colorado’s Next Senator? – dnd

  1. Well done piece dnd, good to find out who the names are out in your neck of the woods!

  2. Nannymm

    Good morning! I wonder if the press is going to fixate on Salazar like they are with Caroline Kennedy? I doubt it! The repugs don’t want her because she will be very hard for them to beat. Most dems here in NY love her. We all know she can raise the money to compete. The only question is can she be an effective campaigner? That’s what she is setting out to demonstrate. The press just wants to create a story. Look how Tweety started his “Is there a Clinton-Kennedy feud brewing” crap the other day. Once it was made clear that Hillary was not behind the anti-Caroline sniping, he and the rest moved on to this legacy appointment discussion and the “is she qualified, can she cut it” line. Funny, I didn’t hear any legacy complaints when Shrub stole the presidency in 2000.

  3. Nannymm

    It is an interesting list, dnd. Do you think John Salazar is the likely pick?

  4. Nannymm, You know Tweety can’t get five minutes into any show without insulting one or both Clintons. The instant his mouth starts moving the bile starts gushing.

    On the topic, if I lived in Colorado, I would probably opt for Perlmutter

  5. Yes dnd, who’s your pick and why?

  6. dnd

    My pick isn’t on the list. I’d pick former governor Dick Lamm. Former Senator Gary Hart would be second on my list.

    From the list, I’d prefer Perlmutter. He’s a regular guy. Hick is too pro growth for me, but he’s very charming, so he’s got a leg up.

  7. Gary Hart would be a fun choice, but isn’t there already enough “Monkey Business” already going in the senate?


  8. chefsheila

    I hope no one gets offended, but Salazar’s looks reminds me vaguely of Bill Graham in looks.

    I jump every time I see a picture of him. 😉

  9. chefsheila

    Very well done post dnd. We all need an education on the possible appointments besides New York’s.

  10. dnd

    I don’t think John Salazar will be picked. He’s valuable to Colorado with his position on the House Appropriations Committee. And some may scream about “dynasty” thing, as lame an argument as that is. There may be some argument of conflict of interest as Colorado has a lot of public land controlled by Interior. (he shares a small apartment in Virginia with his brother). He’s certainly qualified.

    BTW, unless Strickland, Romanoff or Pena is picked, there will have to be special elections or appointments to fill the vacant seat. The political vultures are already circling for the Denver mayor’s seat.

  11. dnd

    “I hope no one gets offended, but Salazar’s looks reminds me vaguely of Bill Graham in looks. ”

    Bill Graham, the late bay area rock concert promoter? Or Billy Graham? I think Billy Graham has more hair 😉

  12. chefsheila

    ….lol sorry, Phill Graham…… 😆

  13. dnd

    Salazar wears cowboy boots. Phil Graham wears hip waders to deal with all the shit he stirs up…

  14. Nannymm

    Hi Jamie, good to see you!

    dnd, alot of those repugs need hip waders. And the press needs its own factory!

  15. dnd

    Gary Hart screwed up big-time, but that was a long time ago. He’s a brilliant political mind. That said, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell he’d be picked. Ditto for Dick Lamm. They’re too old and the pick will be for someone younger who has the possibility to eventually get some seniority.

  16. chefsheila

    That’s funny dnd! Like I said, I have jumped for an instant at Salazr’s picture. before realising that its not Gramm

  17. BevnTempe

    In my opinion, Obama’s perceived perfection by some of us has cracked just a little with the announcement of Rick Warren giving the invocation at his inaugural. We knew it would come, but not this soon. I am disappointed that Mr. Warren was chosen. Perhaps there will be a silver lining that results from his selection. I can’t imagine what it will be. Maybe Mr. Warren and Ms. Hasselbeck will be shown the light that most other people already see.

  18. dnd

    Joseph Lowery will be giving the benediction:

    And Aretha! Perhaps Warren will see the light.

  19. dog's eye view

    Bill Clinton’s donor list: donors to his Foundation/Library.

  20. chefsheila

    You know guys, Rick Warren and Jeremiah Wright, all athiests and what not. They are all Americans and Obama is as much theirs as he is yours.

    Pull back from the Rick Warren Controversy for a moment. realise that an invocation is not political. the invocation has always been personally picked. As personal as the Holy Bible that is chosen for the swearing in also.

    Rick Warren and Barack Obama became friends over and above their politics.

    Long time advisor to the Presidents, Billy Graham advised nonpartisan too.

    I’m just saying, relax on this one. Its not political its personal and Obama is not going to betray his support of the Gay and Lesbian community.

    Now I’m done.

  21. dog's eye view

    re selection of Rick Warren for inaugural benediction:

    cannot recall where I saw this, but will link as soon as I find it. Might have been a letter to Andrew Sullivan.

    Commenter suggested that Obama strategically picked Warren to open up a divide between him and the Dobson/extreme religious right.

    Rick Warren has stood for some progressive initiatives as well: better stewardship of our earth/environmentalism, assistance to HIV and AIDs, some common sense and actually Christ-like efforts.

    Yes, Warren has also supported California’s Prop 8 (no same sex marriage) and is against abortion.

    But there is merit in many of his efforts and work, and Obama is recognizing that.

    Commenter also thought this was a nod to Warren and his supporters, and lets Obama off the hook for actually including any of them in his administration.


    I remember being appalled when Franklin Graham’s prayer during one of W’s inaugurations included the line “one nation under Jesus.”

    That is such a slap to those who are not Christians, and it’s not even using the more acceptable and traditional “one nation under God.”


    Anyway, I was mildly surprised by the choice, but it makes a lot of sense on second thought.

  22. dog's eye view

    I disagree. Everything about the inauguration can be seen as political. From W and Franklin Graham’s nation under Jesus, to any other selection.

    However, there is inclusive politics and acknowledging speakers’ better angels, and Obama was smart in inviting Rick Warren.

    Obama will need all the good will he can get, and Warren is a far different religious leader than the Dobson/Pat Robertson/exclude everyone not fundamentally Christian wing.

  23. chefsheila

    Well, todays politics may lead you to think so. However, GW is perhaps that first that threw something in our faces.

    I stand in the knowlege that every other President didn’t use their pastors and priests as political talking points. They used them to say a prayer for the next four years.

  24. dog's eye view

    Link re the foresight in picking Rick Warren was from John Cole and his readers at Balloon Juice.

    John Cole had highlighted thread comment #59, by TR, which makes a lot of sense to me:

    “If you followed the internal politics of evangelical and fundamentalist leaders, you’d see this for what it is—not an elevation of Warren, but a slap in the face of the old guard leaders like Dobson and LaHaye. They’ve been fighting to see who gets to be the spokesman for the movement, and lately it’s been a tie. Obama just broke it.

    And let’s be clear, there is a difference between those groups. Warren may not be progressive on gay rights, but he’s been out front on a number of issues of global justice—traveling from Davos to Damascus, and working hard to get rank-and-file evangelicals invested in “creation care” environmentalism and the fight against global HIV/AIDS.

    If he were put in charge of HHS or listened to on gay policies, I’d be pissed. But what Obama is doing here isn’t that. It’s a move that marginalizes the worst on the religious right, elevates a guy who’s more progressive than most religious leaders on a number of issues, and earns him some moderate cred at the outset.

    If Obama sells out on the progressive promise in actual policy, I’ll be in the streets protesting with everyone else. But if his “selling out” is having a fairly moderate, popular evangelical give the invocation at the inaugural—when large sections of this country still worry Obama’s a scary evil Mooooslim—then who gives a flying fuck?”

  25. dog's eye view

    Obama has chosen California congresswoman (LA) Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary, per sources.

  26. chefsheila

    Solis is a great pick for Labor Secretary. Very new millenium.

  27. dog's eye view

    Yeah, for one thing, she would have something to say about the Big 3 crisis.

    Not watching cable, but has Elaine Chao McConnell been out front on that one??

  28. BevnTempe

    OK, I’ll try to be open minded. Thanks for your opinions.

  29. chefsheila

    Well, I don’t own this blog and so I’m still an advocate of free thinking and speech.

    I’m glad Obama is trying to pull the whole country together for the inaugural.

    I was just reading some RIGHT WINGERS complaining about Rick Warren being a turncoat because he’s doing the invocation. lol

    Sounds like som unity there!

  30. chefsheila

    Here’s some of Obama’s words.

    Obama On Rick Warren Pick: We Have To Be Able To Agree To Disagree

  31. chefsheila


    New Chief White House Correspondent!!!!!

    There’s going to be interesting information coming out of the White House for the next 4 years.

  32. Nannymm

    Great pick! And it portends great things for Chuck Todd!

  33. chefsheila

    Yes sirree! Love my Chuckie T 😆

  34. chefsheila

    Time for lunch and grocery shopping. sigh…….

  35. dnd

    Will Todd be Chief WH correspondent for MSNBC or NBC? Is Kelley O’Donnell pissed?

  36. Nannymm

    Brian, check your email.

  37. ewwwwwwwwwwwwww chuck todd


  38. chefsheila

    YEY! Chuck Tood and Savannah Guthrie….

    DND that can only mean one thing. Kelly had either moved on to bigger and better things or she was moved to somewhere else in NBC.

    My guess is she’s moved on to some other network or to pay more attention to family.

  39. ewwwwwwwwwwwwww chuck todd


  40. chefsheila

    LOLOL Too bad Brian!!!!!

  41. chefsheila

    Dog put that up on the blog this morning. 😉

  42. chefsheila

    Juts pointing it out to you and respecting Dogs post.

  43. dog's eye view

    It snowed in Las Vegas yesterday. 3.6 inches. WaPost/AP story has some good photos.

  44. Minn. Star-Tribune predicts Franken will win by 89 votes!

  45. Thanks dnd for a very thorough and insightful presentation on the possible replacements for Ken Salazar. My hope is that there will be a progressive in the bunch and that the governor will pick the right one.

  46. Hey eprof, Glad to see you back, how was your holiday?

  47. chefsheila

    Hi Eprof,

    Good to see you again!

  48. Well just stopping by for a short visit before I hit the sack.

    The delivery man came at 5:05pm and setup my stand and the TV. I still have not got my main computer set back up and today I bought new phone cords (8″ and 25′) new cat 6 network cable ( 1-7′ and 1-25′) and a 6′ Coaxial cable as well.

    Tomorrow I’ll see if I can start putting my computer back up as I still have a lot of other stuff to do.

    The picture is great and I still need to find the correct video card adapter that will let me run dual monitors so I can have both my 24″ LG and the new LCD connected to the computer.

    For that I will need a HDMI to DVI-D Cable which I have to measure the distance for the lenght I’ll need.

    It seems like its going to cost me a few more bucks to get this setup like I want.

    Also I still have to setup my Blu-Ray 5.1 Home Theater as well and I may do that first. Anyway I’ll get the computer up like it was while I look for the items I need.

    I really need to be able to use it so I can sit in the living room and be on the computer as well as watch television at the same time. This way I can watch one show on the computer through my ATI All in Wonder card and another channel on the LCD TV at the same time that I online.

    As to who is going to be picked as Salazars replacement I hope that we don’t end up with a weakend House and Senate.

    Good night all and …

    God Bless.

  49. W. Mark Felt, Deep Throat of Watergate, Dies at 95

  50. chefsheila

    Good Morning Friends.

    Auto bandaide in the nick of time!

  51. dog's eye view

    Sounds like Bush put forward a decent loans package. NYT assesses it’s similar the to Corker package GOP voted against last week, without a firm deadline on negotiated wage concessions.

  52. dog's eye view

    It does make one wonder if the GOP vote was politicking as usual, and giving Bush a chance to look statesmanlike.

    Sheila: you still looking out at a winter wonderland up there?

  53. chefsheila

    Six inches yesterday. Nothing but fridged today. Tomorrow more snow…they’re calling it a Whollop.

    That means in 4 days from Sunday, more snow (besides what we had yesterday) coming your way New Yorkers!

  54. chefsheila

    Unusual weather for the Pacific Northwest.

  55. Morning peeps,
    Great news on the auto bailout.

  56. dnd

    I saw the Ann Curry interview with Rick Warren. He said he wasn’t a homophobe. When Curry asked him if science proves homosexuality is biological, would that change his mind about gay marriage, he responded with he was biologically predisposed to have sex with every beautiful woman he sees. He went on to say that his church has done a lot for AIDS/HIV, implying that only homosexuals get AIDS because of their lifestyle.

    A couple of things ran through my mind:
    1. He didn’t answer the question about why that wouldn’t change his mind about gay marriage.
    2. He said he wasn’t a homophobe, but his answer was clearly homophobic both to the marriage question and the AIDS/HIV statement.
    3. You could see the thought bubble go up over Curry’s head: “OMG, that obese perv wants to do me!”

    Warren has a very charming personality, which always makes me suspicious. So he’s able to get away with a lot of BS. If he would have said his perspective was based on his faith rather than science, I would have said fine. But he didn’t.

    I wonder why Curry didn’t remind him gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins.

  57. dog's eye view

    I don’t think people are going to take autoworkers for granted any more, or anyone in our manufacturing base. This bailout raised a lot of questions. Saw several comments that the US needs to retain some major US-owned heavy industries, in the event the country ever has to gear up rapidly for war production.

    You can’t get away from the Japanese designing better cars, too, for the most part. Hondas are more expensive than their American counterparts, but hold their value, last forever, and are usually sportier looking and more pleasing to the eye.

    It’s a shame the CAFE fuel standards, which John Dingell and the auto manufacturers’ associations fought tooth and nail, were not enacted. You would have seen some amazing and competitive American car designs.

    If people drive American, it’s very often a light truck.

  58. Every time I see him I wonder the same thing regarding gluttony.

  59. dnd

    The Ford F-150 or Chevy Suburban are not light trucks, but that’s where their profit model was based. It takes them forever to retool. The big 3 can do anything the foreign competition can, but their business model is seriously flawed.

  60. Apparently Detroit got a better deal from Bush than they would have from Congress, seems like Bush has given the Toyota Repugs a big fuck you!

  61. dnd

    The Russians plan to help foreign auto manufactures who build cars in their country. The two biggest auto manufactures in Russia? Ford and GM

  62. horsedooty


    dog is correct in calling the Chevy Suburban and the F150 a light truck. That is the classification, possibly like “Light duty”. There is really nothing light about a vehicle that weighs over 5k.

  63. chefsheila

    I’ll be glad when this here Polar Express is over with!

  64. dog's eye view

    very funny on the Ann Curry comment. I cannot watch the woman, so will take your word for it. (Would have been interested in what RWarren had to say; just cannot deal with Curry’s fake empathy and sincerity. Maybe it’s real, but it comes off ridiculous…) Let me know if a real journalist interviews Warren — will tune in!


    Paul Krugman had a good column today. (What else is new?) On lessons from a world gone Madoff.

  65. Thanks, Brian and Sheila, for the welcome back. My “holiday” was to go to North Carolina to be with my son and his family as he underwent quadruple bypass open heart surgery. He did wonderfully well in not only getting through the surgery but he’s well on his way back to full health. It was a bit scary when he was told that his main artery was 100 percent block and that he was really lucky to discover it when they did or else he might not be with us today. Modern medicine is truly great.

    It is nice however to be in front of my computer again and reading old friends’ posts and writing a post or two myself.

  66. Hey I’m really glad things went well for him. We’re on a new thread so you might want to repost this on the new thread.

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