Inslee to Interior?

Politico has put together a list of potential appointees in an Obama administration, and the two names being bandied about by Beltway insiders for Secretary of the Interior are Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Rep. Jay Inslee.

That would be a great resume and profile boost for Inslee, who we all assume aspires to the governor’s mansion, and a well earned reward for his leadership on environmental and alternative energy issues.  But it would throw WA-01’s political scene into turmoil, as there’s no obvious heir, and there’s no reason to count this a safe Democratic seat without Inslee in it.

Let the jostling begin.

I asked Inslee’s office if they would comment on this speculation, and Torie Brazitis promptly responded:

“Nope.  Mr. Inslee is focused on the election and making sure that Senator Obama gets elected to be our next President.”


  1. 1

    joel connelly spews:

    Very funny. Both were Hillary Clinton supporters, and RFK is a plot-to-steal-the-election wing nut.

  2. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Interesting, especially because of the Republicans on the list. For trolls too lazy to click on the link, I’ll preview several of the possibilities for you:

    John Kerry might be Secretary of State.
    Caroline Kennedy might be ambassador to the U. N.
    Tom Daschle might be in charge of health care reform.
    Howard Dean might be Secretary of HHS.
    Gary Hart might head Homeland Security.
    Max Cleland might get Veterans Affairs.
    Arnold Schwarzenegger might be tapped for Energy.
    Dick Gephardt might run the Department of Labor.

    Don’t like it, righties? Suck my rabbit paws.

  3. 3

    proud leftist spews:

    Man, you’re talking the Garden of Eden there. Heaven on earth. The Land of Milk and Honey. Is it possible that we could actually have a competent federal government? We’ll know in 4 short days.

  4. 4

    proud leftist spews:

    Jay Inslee would be great at Interior. Even though he’s my congressman and I’d hate to lose him, he would be ideal for the position. He has served in Congress on both sides of the Cascade Divide (who else has done that?), so knows the interests of ranchers, agriculturists, loggers, fisherfolk, and environmentalists. He has great people skills and can actually listen. He’d be a great pick.

  5. 5

    rla spews:

    OH CRAP!

    I’d hate to lose Jay Inslee… RFK jr. would be a lot better.. Yeah that’s it.. He’s tons better.. Yeah… That River keepers thing.. sAwesome… That’s the ticket….

  6. 6

    eponymous_cowward spews:

    But it would throw WA-01’s political scene into turmoil, as there’s no obvious heir, and there’s no reason to count this a safe Democratic seat without Inslee in it.

    Really, Goldy?

    Here’s the 1st CD.

    Here’s the Puget Sound LD map.

    You’re basically talking about the following State LDs: the 45th, the 1st, the 32nd, the 21st, and the 23rd. (Figure 5-6 LDs = 1 CD, since there are 49 LDs and 9 CDs in WA). There might be small slices of other ones like the 44/39/46, but they won’t affect this much.

    Now, please count how many Republican legislators we have from the ones I’ve listed above:

    23rd: 0
    21st: 0
    45th: 0
    1st: 0
    32nd: 0

    Oh, and guess what? Most of those Senators and Representatives have served multiple terms in the state legislature- so they’d be perfectly situated for a move up the ladder. (FWIW, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray both served in the State Legislature out of districts covered by the 1st CD).

    Goldy, the 1st was a swing district in the mid-90’s, maybe, but the Seattle suburbs have gotten more and more blue- Cook gives this a PVI of D +7 (the 8th is D +2, WA as a whole is +4). A Republican gets killed in this district the same way Cantwell crushed McGavick, unless there’s a really bad D candidate facing a really good R one (say, Richard Pope vs. Rob McKenna, though Pope would never win a contested primary and McKenna is not giving up WA AG for a D-leaning CD he’d have to fight for like mad every 2 years- it would be easier for him to win a statewide race like Senate or Governor), and the R bench in this district sucks- the only R elected official of note who MIGHT be in the district boundary is Jane Hague, who isn’t exactly the candidate you’d want to run in this race.

  7. 8

    mr. smitty spews:

    if this happened, i’m sure the first cycle the appointed incumbent who replaces inslee would have a tougher race, but the dynamics would favor a dem i think.

    my guess is larry springer (45th ld rep) would be the early favorite for the seat, should inslee get appointed somewhere in the cabinet

  8. 11

    mr. smitty spews:

    my bad, i thought it was an appointment in that situation.

    regardless, i still think the dem would be favored in the special election, and rep. springer would be my early betting choice. the only gop candidate i can think of who’d be a tough out is bill finkbeiner, if he’s still in the district

  9. 12

    mark spews:

    Come on Smitty, what the fuck, are you new? I
    bet I can guess who you’re going to vote for.

  10. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @5 We need river keepers because the Republicans have never met a stream they didn’t want to dam, fill with logging silt, and let cows wander in, and to hell with salmon and eagles.

  11. 14

    DWE spews:


    I’ve long thought that Sen. Cantwell would be a good candidate for a cabinet position in the next Democratic administration. The natural position would Energy.

  12. 15

    doug spews:

    about 1/3 of the 48th LD is in CD-1 Inslee’s seat
    Republicans state legislators in the 48th : 0

  13. 16

    horsesasswhole spews:

    Roger Goodman?? Are you out of our fucking mind? He isn’t even going to beat the corpulent Toby Nixon. My money is on Rep. Mark Ericks or County Councilmember Dave Gossett.

  14. 17

    horsesasswhole spews:

    Roger Goodman?? Are you out of your fucking mind? He isn’t even going to beat the corpulent Toby Nixon. My money is on Rep. Mark Ericks or County Councilmember Dave Gossett.

  15. 18

    the imp spews:

    I haven’t a clue where y’all are from, but it’s clear you don’t know the district. If you’re looking for a Republican to run keep putting Springer forward…he just has a D. next to his name cuz he can read the handwriting on the wall. This is no longer a swing district, and long since left the R’s behind. He’ll win his seat, but won’t on the next go round. Also, don’t know where you’re getting Toby Nixon winning over Roger Goodman. What’re ya smokin?

    IF Inslee were to get a nod for a cabinet position, AND, y’all want to put up a REAL D. for consideration, then look to Sen. Eric Oemig…You know, that guy that won his seat handily in spite of dirty tricks, bad mouthing and nay sayers, who BTW, will be eating their proverbial hats in the next round.

  16. 19

    Broadway Joe spews:

    Inslee would be nice, but since he’s busy, why not someone else from around these parts? At first I was thinking about Gary Locke, since he’s been out of circulation since leaving the governor’s mansion. But a quick read of his Wikipedia profile shows that his current job fairly screams ‘lobbyist’ to me, so that probably wouldn’t work, let alone the fact that I’d think he’d be better suited at the State Department instead of Interior. Too bad, since I’ve always liked him, talked to him on at least nine or ten occasions (sometimes it’s ridiculously easy to meet your elected representatives – just go to the Safeway in Tumwater!).

    Any other suggestions?

  17. 20

    eponymous coward spews:

    Goldy, WA-7 is D +30, which is why Jim McDermott is Congressman-for-Life.

    However, guess how many Republicans represent D +7 districts in the US House? Only one that I could find- Mike Castle (D-AL, DE), who was first elected Governor back when the Republican Party wasn’t totally dominated by crazy Southerners, and is a moderate (word has it Joe Biden might recruit him to be a D as his replacement in the US Senate). He’d be the “really good R” I’d have cited above.

    Given that, given that the sum total of Republican elected officials (State Leg, King County) from the 1st CD is Jane “Give me another Chardonnay” Hague, and given the 1st CD has the second-highest D PVI for the state of Washington, according to Cook (tied with the 6th), I have to say that district is safe D in a special election, and there’s absolutely no reason that should keep a potential President-elect Obama from appointing Inslee to his cabinet.

    Personally, if I had to make a guess of someone who might take the leap to Congress? Bob Ferguson, if he lived in the district boundaries…

  18. 21

    palamedes spews:

    Brian Sullivan.

    Never ignore this possibility.

    But then, I suspect Inslee will want to stay both visible and close to home, so he has a prepared organization in four years, assuming Gregoire doesn’t want a third term. If he goes to DC, then I think he’s basically giving up the chance for Governor to other people, of which I can think of three possibilities on the Democratic side of the aisle.

    And the bottom line will be – who can beat Rob McKenna?

  19. 22

    Zak spews:

    #21 – you nailed it, and the answer is most likely he can’t be beat.

    He is a boy scout wonk, very bright, very conservative but sorta of the old school, few connections to the KKK. Very charming and smooth, speaks well in speeches and on his feet.

    He has been grooming for the Gov. for a decade. By the way he is very articulate and has a nice family. Did I say youthful and clean cut?

    And truly very effeminate, although, I know of no gay dirt.

    East Side Zak

  20. 23


    I agree with “the Imp” — Eric Oemig would be the best Congressional Rep. for the 1st District. He has done a fabulous job as State Senator in the 45th.

    I hope Jay Inslee gets promoted upstairs, to the Dept. of Energy or the EPA or whatever –that’s one way to get rid of him. Jay has been good for us on a lot of issues. But on the issue of justice for Palestinians, and curbing military spending, and corporate globalization, when the chips are down, Jay votes for Israel, Boeing, the Bases, and Wall Street. And he sabotaged our efforts to Impeach Bush. Leaves me cold. You can say you’re against the Iraq war, but if you approve the Defense budget every year, that’s what provides the paychecks for the 10 million civilian and military –the military sector of the GDP, who then, exert irresistable pressure that supports war *ideology* and war *policy*. We need somebody with brains in the 1st District.

  21. 24

    palamedes spews:

    @22: Yes, he can be beat.

    However, it will require minimal factional fighting on our end – we have to either have a very clean primary or an anointed candidate selected early – and we will have to have a campaign as utterly ruthless as our last two Senate campaigns.

    It can be done, but there can be no quarter given from day one. Minute one. Second one.

    You hammer him and you keep hammering him until he cracks. And given the right circumstances, he eventually will.