Salazar Cleared By White House For Governor’s Run?

The Denver Post reports that Ken Salazar would have the blessing of the White House if he left his post at the Department of the Interior to run for Governor in his home state of Colorado:

The White House would not object if Interior Secretary Ken Salazar chose to resign his cabinet post and run for Colorado governor, sources tell The Denver Post.

The White House’s stance on whether Salazar can leave the cabinet on good terms is a key variable in the race to replace Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter, who announced this morning that he would not seek re-election.

According to sources with knowledge of the conversations, Salazar was encouraged by the White House to remain in the administration, citing an agenda on climate change and retooling energy policy. But administration officials said they would support him if he felt it was in the best interests of the party and the state to return to Colorado.

Democrats in the state are deferring to the former senator who has won statewide races on three occasions before making their intentions on entering the race known.

Marc Ambinder suggested earlier today that Salazar was among the top candidates preferred for the race by the White House.

Obviously, Salazar’s going to get the first crack at this. The association with the Obama Administration may or may not help him in Colorado. But he did win statewide three times there, including beating Pete Coors in a down Democratic year for the US Senate seat in 2004, outperforming John Kerry’s top of the ticket performance dramatically.

From a progressive perspective, there are probably better choices out there than the moderate Salazar. He was been a fairly decent Interior Secretary, managing a damaged department and making (generally speaking) OK policy choices, for the most part.

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