Hickenlooper for Housing? Maybe Transportation?

Where’s the Colorado beef? The Centennial State delivered victory to Barack Obama, and for weeks tongues have been a-wagging over cabinet appointments. It’s Bill Ritter this, Ken Salazar that, Federico Peña — well, duh. (And pssst… Bernie Buescher has made it clear he’s up for just about anything.) But so far for Colorado, nada. But wait! Can it be … John Hickenlooper for Transportation? Or maybe Housing?

Word in some circles is that the mayor of Denver, a year into his second term, is on Obama’s short list for an appointment. Not a huge surprise, given the Denver mayor pulled off what will be remembered by almost everyone but peace activists and free speech advocates as a wildly successful Democratic National Convention, capped by Obama’s historic nomination acceptance speech before a crowd of 80,000.

Since Election Day, it’s been a guessing game of which prominent Coloradan could be up for a Cabinet post: On Nov. 6, Sen. Ken Salazar brushed off speculation that he’d be up for a post during a conference call with reporters.

“It’s highly doubtful that I would serve in the Cabinet,” the first-term Democrat said. “Representing the state of Colorado is a blessing and a privilege, and I believe my work has just begun.”

At the same time, Salazar indicated he’d “already communicated” his desire to President-elect Obama that the new administration consider a Westerner to serve in the post.

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, just two years into the job, has also made the cocktail conversation circuit, leading his spokesman Evan Dreyer to this week vow that his boss is “very focused on governing the state of Colorado.”

Peña, who served in President Bill Clinton’s Cabinet (as Transportation then Energy secretary), has certainly been mentioned for a possible Cabinet post. But, as some have noted, Pena perhaps may be feeling just dandy being a key adviser to POTUS.

Which brings us back to Hickenlooper …

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Cara Degette

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