If you’re one of those Montana politicos who thinks term-limited Gov. Brian Schweitzer is going to stick to his “fishing in the morning, whiskey in the afternoon” self predicted schedule once out of office, consider yourself one of the few.
I’d imagine many are wondering what’s next for Gov. Schweitzer. Will he challenge Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) in 2014? Will he hold out for a White House run in 2016? Or, will he take a Cabinet post within the Obama administration now that it is clear that Obama has been re-elected?
Insiders would tell you that Schweitzer and Obama campaign manager Jim Messina (a former top Baucus staffer) have never really gotten along all that well. However, Schweitzer campaigned heavily for Obama in Iowa despite several close races back here in Montana. That should wipe away any hard feelings inside the Obama camp.
Were he to take a Cabinet post, here’s a couple options that appear to be open. Per Politico:
Salazar has indicated to friends and other Democrats that he’s on his way out at Interior for a private-sector job back in Colorado, where he has a granddaughter with autism whom he and his wife care for. That could leave the job open for his deputy, David Hayes, but given that the bulk of Interior jurisdiction land is out West, the department’s a natural home for a Westerner former elected official. Among the options: former North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan, former Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal and soon-to-be former Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire.
Chu is probably the Cabinet secretary the White House wants to see go the most. Nobel Prize cachet aside, the Solyndra debacle has been a disaster, and the Hill is unhappy too. Possibilities here include Cathy Zoi, a former CEO of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection and Kathleen McGinty, the Clinton-era chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. This could be a private- sector draw too — there’s talk of Lewis Hay of NextEra Energy and Jim Rogers, the head of Duke Energy who was co-chairman of the Democratic convention in Charlotte.