by Rebecca Schmitz

Ken Salazar has his opinion.

Salazar, a Democrat who helped deliver Colorado’s nine electoral votes for Obama, suggested four Western governors: Montana’s Brian Schweitzer or Wyoming’s Dave Freudenthal as interior secretary, New Mexico’s Bill Richardson as secretary of state and Arizona’s Janet Napolitano as attorney general.

What’s yours? Should Brian be part of an Obama Administration? If not, who should repair the damage caused by succeed Gale Norton and Dirk Kempthorne as Secretary of the Interior?

  1. klemz

    Dirk was a lot better than Gale.

  2. we need a lion tamer for this next legislature if we want to keep the state of Montana politics from descending into chaos like the last session. we need to keep brian right here if possible. I like bohlinger, but i am not sure he can handle the whip quite as confidently.

    as far as interior, i think he may be alright but i have some reservations about his coal thinking as do most environmentally leaning centrists.

    basically anyone obama picks will be a huge improvement in interior, but someone who works better with environmentalist centrists (not wackos) would be best.
    don’t know who that would be but i am sure matthew could come up with a few names to start.

  3. Pronghorn

    Hands down, Raul Grijalva of AZ.

    Click to access Grijalva_Public_Lands_Report_10_22_2008.pdf

    A REPORT on
    Prepared by:
    Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva, Chairman Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands
    United States House of Representatives

  4. My psychic priest tells me Schweitzer should get off the mutinous ship fast.

    With the legislature poised to attack his keystone energy projects and any hopes of progressive lawmaking like wild afghan dogs, Schweitzer should get out while he can for the first federal post that becomes available. Hopefully it’s one where he can transfer his energy projects to a federal level, instead of being bound by montana’s state lines.

    I don’t know much about politics, other than what god tells me, but I know how wild afghan dogs behave. Just like Scott Sales, Bob Keenan, and that damn Roy Brown. Tim Fox has also become a little snarly in the past two weeks.

    I mean, c’mon, for Jesus sake already?

    The best way to deal with encircling afghan dogs is to get airlifted. That’s what schweitzer needs: airlift to a federal appointment. Let the dogs have Bollinger’s tasty lean chops. He’s a runner I believe. And a republican.


  5. Jim Lang

    Moving to the Obama adminstration right now would pretty effectively throw Montana dems under the bus. We need him here. His term is up in four years; he can move to Washington then.

  6. Matthew Koehler

    Dick and Gail are two peas in a pod. Dick’s record in Idaho shows that clearly. Only difference was Dick is so damn good looking and such a smooth talker that it was difficult for some people to see through to his actual anti- environmental policies.

    Heck, back in 2002 when Gov. Judy held the Western Governor’s Association “Forest Health/Wildfire meeting” in Missoula I remember Judy turning over the mic to Dick and even I was completely captivated with his account of riding his Harley up the Lochsa on the way to the meeting. I remember saying to my table-mates, “Get Judy back up there!”

    The other interesting thing about that 2002 Western Governor’s Association meeting in Missoula was the waaaaaayyyyy over-the-top police presence. The Supervisor of a local national forest would tell me later that she’s never seen or heard of anything quite like it.

    Even though I was officially registered for the conference, as I attempted to walk through the doors at the Holiday Inn Parkside, I was immediately confronted by two ATF agents, both of which had automatic weapons in their hands and physically restrained me from entering. They were listening to someone through their ear pieces who was telling them “he’s on the list,” which they repeated to each other.

    I honestly thought at this moment that I’d be hauled away and never heard from again.

    I told them “what list” am I on. No response. They detained for about five minutes and then let me in. Welcome to the post-September 11 world of the federal government!

    Anyway, that was only the start of a very strong ATF/FBI/police presence that seemed to be directed at me. Undercover people followed me around the whole conference, at one point two of them jumped in front of me so I wouldn’t be within arms reach of Mark Rey. I even had local loggers commenting how they’d be observing the whole thing too.

    And then there the situation with the field trip to a logging site and the mill in Seeley Lake. A fellow enviro and I happened to get on the wrong bus and then, once realizing our mistake, tried to get on the correct bus but it had already left.

    So, we caught a ride with a reporter and photographer from the Great Falls Tribune. They dropped us off at the Seeley Lake mill.

    Apparently this caused quite a stir since within minutes a 15-passenger van full of federal agents showed up at the mill. My tour of the mill that day included being surrounded on four sides by these agents.

    Seriously folks, I have no criminal record and I clearly work in the public arena…what did the Feds think I was going to do? Throw myself onto the saws to stop the mill?

    Anyway, best choice for Interior. Hands Down: Ochenski!

  7. I agree, Matthew. Saying Dirk’s better than Gale is like saying Alberto Gonzales is better than John Ashcroft. Okay, so Gonzales doesn’t run around anointing himself with canola oil. That’s about the only good thing you can say about him as Attorney General.

    Brian’s said numerous times he has no interest in leaving Montana for D.C. I hope he really means it. I’d rather have someone else at Interior. I don’t know who just yet.

  8. klemz

    Gonzales was better than Ashcroft. I’m with your general attitude, but I think not recognizing the subtleties dips into hyperbole. No friend of the environment or civil liberties is a fan of any of the four, but… c’mon, Norton was a tree-felling crook that the corporate-backed GOP of Colorado failed to supplant Wayne Allard with.

    For me, that was the ultimate head-scratcher appointment of this administration. Wait, I’ll give it a tie with Rey.

  9. bradtyer

    I second the motion! Ochenski for Interior!

  10. I would like to see Schweitzer take on Palin in 2012. Both folksy, gun-loving western guvs but otherwise COMPLETELY different.

  11. Lizard

    Appointments are indeed critical for how an Obama administration will govern, or maybe, more accurately, who Obama is beholden to. Rahm Emanuel is just the first of what will sure to be many disappointments. For us leper/cynics it’s a clear indication of business as usual.

    What comes next is Volker or Rubin as secretary of the treasury to keep Wall Street fat and happy while the ponzi scheme that is our current economy continues to contract and crumble.

    Pressure from people in team blue needs to be loud and insistent when Obama begins capitulating to the interests that bankrolled the heft of his campaign war chest.

    i said war because that word won’t just go away even if the media scales down its coverage of how we keep on murdering civilians by bombing weddings.

    the celebration is over. the market has clearly shown in the last two days it needs to know which fox will be chosen to guard the henhouse.

    I’m not totally frozen that i didn’t marvel at what i was witnessing tuesday night. But it was a powerful moment more because so many people were collectively experiencing so many strong emotions than it was excitement over the rhetorical nuances of a politician who has verbally verified the neocon framing of the WAR ON TERROR and even the sham of the so called “russian aggression” when the Georgia military (funded and trained by US and ISRAEL) bombed the capital of South Ossetia at night, murdering innocent civilians and UN mandated russian peace keepers.

    I have to admit, though, it’s stunning, how in four years a young Chicago politician can ascend so quickly, just in time to land in the white house as the Chicago School’s global economic shock therapy program returns to where it was hatched.

  12. Lizard

    in order to provide some “credible” evidence that Georgia provoked Russia by attacking South Ossetia, the NYT finally got around to acknowledging what i knew three months ago by reaching beyond this country’s pathetically corrupted consolidated media outlets.

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