Baucus, Walsh and smoke-filled back rooms
by Pete Talbot
And here I thought Sen. Max Baucus was retiring from the U.S. Senate so he could spend more time in Montana with his lovely, young wife. He’s even building a home in the Bozeman area.
It looks like I was wrong. The blogs are awash with the news that Max will most likely be the next U.S. Ambassador to China. I won’t link to them all — they range from kudos to criticism — and you’ve probably already read them. Here’s the NY Times story, though.
Now China will be his legacy since tax reform is off the table and the Affordable Care Act isn’t exactly being warmly embraced.
The big question: who will be appointed by Gov. Bullock as Baucus’ place holder until the 2014 election?
Ahh, to be a fly on the wall in those smoke-filled back rooms (although not as smokey as they used to be thanks to anti-tobacco trends). Who to pick: Lt. Gov. John Walsh, Brian Schweitzer, Pat or Carol Williams, one of our Tier-B women (Juneau, McCulloch, Lindeen)?
Now former Baucus/Obama staffer Jim Messina is being mentioned. How the hell did he get in the mix?
And if Bullock appoints Walsh, who will he then appoint as lieutenant governor? (Bohlinger? That would be ironic, n’est pas?)
I’m sure all these questions were hashed out and answered many months ago by the powers that be. The rest of us are just along for the ride.
UPDATE: It’s official. Obama nominates Baucus for Ambassador to China position. Max’s appointment should sail through Senate hearings.