Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar has accepted an offer to become Barrack Obama's Interior Secretary, CBS station KCNC-TV in Denver's Raj Chohan confirmed on Monday.
The Rocky Mountain News also reported a source within President-elect Barack Obama's transition team says Salazar was offered the Interior Secretary job and that he had accepted.
There are several items of note about this pick:
It is a real disappointment that Raul Grijalva wasn't the choice. Perhaps I spoke too soon about the degree to which Obama was listening to progressives during the transition. We seem to be nixing the occasional choice, but not achieving anyone who we are pushing.
It is worth noting that Raul Grijalva turned down becoming chairman of Ways and Means in order to stay chair of the Natural Resources committee. From this committee, he will have an ability to serve as a check on Ken Salazar. So, once again, we have a more positive development in the U.S. House than we appear to have in either the Senate or the Executive Branch.
Third, this is yet another Democratic Senate seat that will be filled via appointment. This could potentially be a positive, as Salazar was a fairly annoying Democratic Senator. He was a member of the "Gang of 14,", and was below average within the Democratic caucus on Progressive Punch. He wasn't the worst, and Evan Bayh didn't even appear to be targeting him for the new Senate Blue Dog caucus, but he wasn't exactly a particularly useful Senator for progressives, either.
Hopefully, Salazar's replacement in the Senate will not be his brother, who is a Blue Dog. That, plus the various corruption issues surrounding our Senate picks these days, would make him a poor choice.