With the news that Governor Ritter of Colorado will not seek re-election, Democrats in CO are scrambling to find a candidate to keep the seat. The Obama adminstration is interested in having a Democrat as governor there to help the President's re-election chances in that state and in the West overall. The best candidate would be Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who is a former senator from CO and who has never lost a statewide election there.
Here's where the speculation starts - reports say Salazar has interest in a gubernatorial run and may have even secured the blessing of Obama. Governor Schweitzer is already being mentioned as a possible replacement. Could the Governor be heading to DC in the next few months?
Would Schweitzer even have interest in such as job, you ask? Absolutely. Since he is term-limited from running for Governor again, many have speculated about his next gig. To the press he always said he was not interested in a cabinet position. Behind closed doors, however, he was definitely looking for an appointment even back in November of 2008.
And who wouldn't want to leave that job right now? Revenue projections are falling every month and it is possible that Montana will join the other 48 states that have deficits by the end of this biennium. If he secured the appointment soon enough, he could leave when there was still a few million dollars in the bank. Not a bad time to move on to the next thing a little early.
Now here's another layer of speculation that already makes two assumptions. If Salazar runs for governor of Colorado AND Schweitzer is appointed in his place, will Lt. Governor John Bohlinger be a Democrat or Republican? He has always declared himself a Republican, and the MT Democrats used that effectively to have a bi-partisan ticket, but the MT GOP always called him a traitor. Republicans claim he had a (D) by his name when his name appeared on the ballot, so that made him a Democrat. If Bohlinger becomes Governor, both camps may reverse their positions. Oh the irony.
It's fun to hear the gossip and go through the "what ifs", but just keep in mind that it's still just speculation.
UPDATE: The Fix is reporting that Salazar will not run and he will back Denver Mayor Hickenlooper instead. Speculation over.