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Salazar dodges queries about Colo. governor run

By Ed O'Keefe

Updated 6:29 p.m. ET

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar dodged four questions about a possible campaign for Colorado governor during a previously scheduled conference call with reporters on Wednesday.

Ken Salazar

Salazar is reportedly "under tremendous pressure" to make a run as the state's current governor, Bill Ritter, said he will not seek reelection.

“Bill Ritter has been a devoted servant of the public at great sacrifice to self and family," Salazar said when asked about his political future during the call. "I have enjoyed our work together in Colorado during my time as attorney general, as United States Senator and as secretary of the Interior. I wish him and his family all the best and I thank him for his service.”

Asked by another reporter if he is considering a run or has a preferred candidate, Salazar said: “I’m not going to comment on that. The governor has not yet made his formal announcement and there are other conversations that are going on in Colorado.”

Salazar ignored similar queries later in the call. He spoke during a call that announced new requirements for oil and gas companies before they can drill on federal lands.

Salazar would be the first Cabinet secretary to leave the Obama administration if he decides to run. He was nominated and confirmed on Inauguration Day.

"It's been a tough year," Salazar said in a year-end interview with the Associated Press last week.

"What President Obama asked me to do when he brought me there was to reform the department and fix problems," he said.

In his first year Salazar has instituted a department-wide ethics overhaul, settled a major class-action lawsuit regarding American Indian trust accounts and has faced criticism from environmentalists regarding his decision to remove grey wolves from the endangered species list. Wednesday's announcement has also earned him the ire of oil and gas companies that accuse him of discouraging development on public lands.

The White House would not object if Salazar chose to resign his cabinet post and run for Colorado governor, The Denver Post reported on Wednesday.

"I think Secretary Salazar is, again, a friend of the president, they came to the Senate at the same time," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said when asked at Wednesday's press briefing. "We think he's doing valuable work and I do not believe he's had a conversation with him recently about politics."

An administration official noted that Salazar recently moved his family to Washington for the first time since joining the U.S. Senate in 2005, a move likely to factor into any decision. His departure could also impact the Interior Department's top staff, since Salazar brought several aides with him. Thomas Strickland, a former U.S. attorney from Colorado and a two-time Senate candidate there, is a close friend of Salazar.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 6, 2010; 1:07 PM ET
Categories:  Administration  
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It will soon be time for the rats to leave the sinkng ship

Posted by: captgrumpy | January 6, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: yourmomscalling | January 6, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

We DO NOT need or want Ken Salazar as our Governor here in Colorado. As a Senator, he continually refused to listen to Our voice as does Gov. Ritter regarding enforcing our immigration and naturalization laws - We've had ENOUGH and since he does not take his Oath of Office seriously, he should not be allowed to continue to pretend to serve the American People in ANY government position - they're goal is harm not good for America!

Posted by: AJAX2 | January 6, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I think these Senators are living because can not endure anymore the stupididy of washington and the cable media.

Example, the cable news covered Tiger Woods for weeks, then another rabbit show up in the news the nigerian rich terrorist in training. Bye, Bye, Tiger Woods. Now for weeks all that the cable media media is covering this the rich nigerian boy on training as a terrorist ( he spent 10 or more hours in a transatlantic trip and waited to the last 20 minutes of the fly to ignite the bomb. That is what you called a fully trained terrorist).

Now about the terrorist issue. this terrorist stuff can be ended in matters of hours as follows.

1. All the former European colonial power should withdraw their troop/ trainer etc ect from the Middle East countries. DITTO FOR THE UNITED STATES.

2. All the european former colonial powers should ask/ not/ prohibit/ not better order the national oil companies from operating in the Middle East. Period. Get their oil from somewhere else. Ditto for the United States of America. If a gallon of gas goes to $20.00 that will be great. That will provide an incentive to go gree and battery gas or horse driven cars.

3. The United states of america should treat ther state of Israel on equal basis of any other nation in the world. No preference , nada. Ditto for the Southern Baptists.

If all these 3 conditions are met, we will live ibn this country without fear of Muslin terrorist. dito Spain, england , France, Portugal and all the other former colonial powers. So far i have never heard of any muslin terrorist targeting Uruguay, or Guatemala, South Africa, Suiza, Monoco, Costa Rica,South Vietnam or Bolivia etc etc etc. Can you follow the historical dot. Let this people live like the have been living for centuries. They are not interested in our culture and we should not try to change the way the want to live. It is evident that the only thing they want is to be alone from us and our corporations and our soldiers, and from our judeo christian religions.

Live these bastards and their Gods alone. Otherwise they are very tough guys. Do not mess up with their way of life.

(written but not edited)

Posted by: coratony | January 6, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

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