Colorado Congressman John Salazar is on the "short list" to become secretary of agriculture under President-elect Barack Obama, sources have told The Denver Post.[...]
If Salazar is chosen, then confirmed, it would scramble the political map in Colorado, leaving his seat to be filled through a special election, the date for which would be set by Gov. Bill Ritter. It also would assure Colorado, a swing state that helped propel Obama to victory, a seat at the new president's cabinet.
Salazar's district -- which covers roughly half the state, from Grand Junction to Pueblo -- is a pretty conservative one. The same year that Salazar won that seat, Bush beat Kerry in that district 55-44. My feeling is that last month was the high water mark for the Democratic surge. From this point on, Democrats begin to be perceived as the party in power and start taking some heat for their decisions and the condition of the country. The odds of Dems holding onto Colorado's 3rd CD are pretty good if Salazar stays in office. They're considerably weaker in an open-seat special election. I'm surprised the party is considering this.