Secretary of Commerce Hickenlooper, Anyone?

Sources are discussing today the possibility, as of now very much unconfirmed, that Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper may be offered the job of Secretary of Commerce, replacing former Secretary John Bryson who resigned over the summer due to medical reasons.

This comes to us from a credible source. That said, we’re not at all sure this would be the best move for Hickenlooper career-wise, especially given his rumored higher aspirations. On the other hand, the degree to which Hickenlooper considers an offer would say plenty about how realistic he considered those aspirations.

In any event, it would be quite the Gold Dome shake-up, wouldn’t it?

61 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    I want Hick to be gov for a full 8 years.

    Then, I want him to become Denver Mayor again.

  2. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    I think this would be a happy ending.

  3. parsingreality says:

    While neither light the fires of liberal Dems, far better them than – oops! – any Republican.

    Especially since the reelections of both are almost assured.  

  4. catpuzzle says:

    1. This job strikes me as a strange fit for Hick, generally. He’d certainly not be the first person I’d think of for the job, or even really on the list?

    2. Does Joe Garcia want the job? I assume so, just wondering if if there’s any chance he wouldn’t.

    3. Salazar is known to want the job and this could open the door to a 2014 run (especially since he is moving back to CO). But this could be problematic depending if Garcia does want to keep the job. Any chance he’d step aside?

    4. Hick would have to move to DC for the job – any reason to think he’d want to do that?  

  5. BlueCat says:

    I recall another Colorado Governor who was supposed to be a rising party star and future presidential candidate… Governor Owens. Governors are always coming and going, flavor of the month style, as the next  big presidential thing.  If I were Hick I’d make my decision, should he get the offer, without reference to anything as many political light years away as the 2016 presidential.  

    And since we’ve already elected an ever so very slightly center left Dem President twice in a row now, I don’t see why we have to go center right to win in 2016.  Maybe HRC will let him be Veep. If HRC decides against I’d be looking for the first Latino. Either way Hick, as another pleasantly goofy Veep, would be perfect.

    Unless HRC does run but wants a first Latino Veep all teed up to make some more history. Would a first woman/first Latino ticket be too much at once? Then maybe back to Hick after all. I have a real hard time seeing him (or present goofy veep Biden) as presidential material. Definitely goofy Veep material or Commerce material though.

    Bet he stays as Gov.

  6. Slartibartfast says:

    or at least the possibility of more robust funding for the Federal labs here. Despite three Nobel Prizes (tune in on Dec. 10) from NIST alone, the labs continue to struggle under shrinking budgets.

       The cutting edge science being done (NIST/JILA), the crucial climate data being collected (NOAA) and alternative energy research (NREL) are vital for our country’s national security, weather and climate study and sustainable energy development. Not to mention that the new and better technologies being developed at these labs will ensure we continue to be leaders in technological innovation which, in turn, will enable growing product development and good paying jobs. We starve our federal labs at our own peril.

        A Secretary of Commerce Hickenlooper would at least have a better understanding of what our labs do and the huge contribution they make to our economy, both Colorado’s and the United States’. And that alone would make him a better advocate for more funding than any other secretary we’ve had in the past.

        I’m just sayin….

    If you don’t want it printed, don’t let it happen.

  7. Gorky PulviczekG Pulviczek says:

    I’d be glad to see Gov. Frackenlooper go.  On the other hand, does the Obama Administration really need yet another petroleum-hungry administrator?  We really need people who will help us kick our carbon habit.  The earth is not getting any cooler…

  8. Gray in Mountains says:

    may be a good fit in Commerce and while it may mean he never runs for President I don’t see that as anything that concerns me. The Ds have a deep bench and if one goes off that is fine. He does have 4 years to prove himself. If he wants the WH he can begin campaigning for it in 30 months. But, if HRC wants it, or Cuomo, or others then he really doesn’t stand a chance anyway

  9. OrangeFreeOrangeFree says:

    He’ll stay Gov, mop the floor with whoever runs against him in 2014 and then wade in to the 2016 presidential only to pull back and be put on the short list for VP with whoever gets the nomination. Why take Commerce when you have that in your future?

    That is, unless Obama had some unspoken agreement with Clinton that after 8 years, he clear the way for her smooth nomination…

  10. MADCO says:

    Hick has zero name recognition outside Colorado.  hell- I’m not sure he’s that well known outside Denver Boulder.

    So that means a run for the top would hard. Wayy harder than Bill Richardson or Frank Dodd- yes, they were both in the hunt wayyyy back in 07.

    D’s got a deep bench – lot’s of governors out there I like for 16 : Beebe, Patrick, Schweitzer, Cuomo, Gregoire,

    And a mayor or two – love Hizzoners Booker and Villaraigosa.  Even some Senators I could see –  Warner, Gillibrand.

    I’m going to say this just once – HRC cannot win. She has a list of enemies 10 miles long.  I don’t fully understand why so many hate her so much as they  do – but they do.  Put her on the Court.

    As for our governor Hick… I wouldna though Governor Napolitano for her gig- but she’s done well.  So I don’t see him as a cabinet member – but …who knows?

    As for Secretary gigs that open a door higher ….why didn’t Richardson get more …juice?  Why won’t  Sibelius get taken more seriously? IDK- but they don’t.

    As for Colorado.

    I don’t know the rule.  If Hick goes, does the Lt Gov get the gig until regularly scheduled programming resumes?  Great-  because about 1000 voters could name that guy today, including his family.

    If Ken Salazar is really coming back – great, I like that guy a lot. And we know he can win statewide.

    Whatever happened to David Skaggs? I always thought he was a level headed talent- until he just vanished.

    That said- the D’s biggest concern at most  levels is who/how the R’s put up.  If we see more ez to not love Maes/Romney/Bobs/Tancredo candidates- it’s a lot easier to win.  If we see responsible statesmen (trust me- they’re out there) it gets a lot harder in a hurry.

  11. Pam Bennett says:

    He might like it here. There are always the Wilber and Fanny walk on water parties. If it is $10 in Denver it is $50 here.  There are lots of infamous famous people hanging around the big Dome area.  And, the microbreweries are just starting to build (law change to let them operate) and serve good stuff.  Along with a couple of distilleries.

  12. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    Welcome back to the blog.

  13. Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

    And, the microbreweries are just starting to build (law change to let them operate) and serve good stuff.

    you are starting to get Hicks’ attention.  

  14. VoyageurVoyageur says:


    “Governor, you’re doing a great job in Colorado and I know it would be a sacrifice to come to Washington.   But the honest fact is that your party needs you — and, more important, your country needs you.”


      People don’t get into public office without having egos.   And when a president looks you in the eye and says he needs you, who can resist?  

  15. gaf says:

    oil and gas than he has on clean energy. Or at least, he has put more political capital in pushing oil and gas than clean energy. That’s not what I want at Commerce.

  16. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    I assumed the labs would be under the Dept of Energy, but Lo and Behold:

    Commerce Bureaus

       Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)

       Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)

       U.S. Census Bureau

       Economic Development Administration (EDA)

       Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA)

       International Trade Administration (ITA)

       Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

       National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

       National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)

       National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

       National Technical Information Service (NTIS)

       U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

    Lots of Geek-heaven agencies under that umbrella.  Maybe Hick would be a pretty good fit afterall.  

    Who knows, maybe he’d also make history as the first Commerce Secretary to make a bid for the White House.

    But I tend to agree with BlueCat, he’s more of a VP contender.

  17. parsingreality says:

    Governors have major power and respect.

    SoC, um, Ron Brown?  I can’t even tell you the pesent one, and while I’m not uber-polito-geek, I’m way ahead of most of the population.

  18. Konola says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  19. Diogenesdemar says:

    For Colorado?

    For the country?

    Perhaps, . . .  maybe, . . . I dunno’ . . .

  20. BlueCat says:

    so I looked it up. We currently have an acting U.S. Commerce Secretary, Rebecca Blank. There have been three since 2011, not exactly household names. Doesn’t seem like the place for anybody who dreams of being a major political somebody these days, certainly not someone who is already a Governor.

  21. MADCO says:

    Or even a R congressman from a mid-western state.

  22. RedGreenRedGreen says:

    You mean the second, after Herbert Hoover?

    That is surprising there are so many offices under Commerce … wouldn’t be a bad place to make a name if the economy starts surging, but there’s probably a good reason it’s considered one of the minor departments.

  23. JFrackenlooper says:

    lo mismo.

    Its gonna be a brite frackin’ future where I’m going, bub.  

  24. BlueCat says:

    it was from a safe seat but if it was from a safe seat, why bother? It wouldn’t be like the Rs succeeding in getting Kerry kicked upstairs and having a real chance at taking a seat back. Don’t see the leadership allowing anyone to give up a competitive seat and who wants to defy their own party for the “glory” of Commerce?

  25. Arvadonian says:

    Hick wouldn’t even be a speedbump in Hillary’s way to the nomination.

  26. Craig says:

    I agree that HRC should go on the Supreme Court.  That is my first choice.  The liberal wing needs someone with the political stones to match the right wing there.

    However, I do not agree that she can’t run for President and that her enemies list is too long.  Frankly, it is no longer than any other Democrat and it is the same list as any other Democrat.  From my point of view most Democrats know they would have been better off with her as President than Obama.  I think her magnificient stint as SOS has increased her popularity significantly.  If she still wants to be President, I think she can be.  I still think she is more needed at the Supreme Court and is easily confirmable. j I would just love to see Scalia meet his match on the court.  He’d be gone in a year when he couldn’t bully people any more.

    As for Hick, I totally agree with you.  He’s a nobody on the national scene and people who think he has any shot there are just kidding themselves.  Really the only quirky candidate who might have a chance on the national scene is Schweitzer.  My reasoning, Hick just plain ain’t willing to spend political capital and take hard positions.

    In addition, I think if you ask anyone who has worked under his administration, you will find that he is not a good boss and very difficult to work with.  His campaigns haven’t been all that difficult.  I mean really Don what’s-his-name and Tommy the Tank??????  He’d get eaten up.

  27. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    Should run for Lautenberg’s Senate seat.   It’s the closest thing he has to a sure thing on his inevitable way up.  

  28. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    This whole discussion of Hick as prez. Fucking hilarious.

  29. Littletonian says:

    As in, the reverse of the bill that Chris Dodd sponsored alongside Barney Frank?

  30. MADCO says:

    Of course she can run. She might even run a good campaign next time.  But probably not.  And she can’t win. Her list is not the same as any D’s – most D’s aren’t as well known. Nowhere near.  In fact, perhaps only Gore and Obama. And I’m pretty sure neither of them will run in 16.

  31. Arvadonian says:

    No way. She’s 65 years old and if nominated for the court, she’d be the oldest nominee ever at the time of nomination. Yes, she’d sail through confirmation, but I think Obama is looking for someone to stick around a bit longer than Hillary likely would.    

  32. parsingreality says:

    Not that I care, but most of the voting public will. Abe Lincoln could not get elected today.

    While looks have a major impact for male candidates, for women it’s the criteria.  Sad, but true.  

    HRC for Supreme Court?  Perfect.

  33. OrangeFreeOrangeFree says:

    …but look what a messy primary fight from a bunch of numbnuts helped do to him in the end.

    Hick alone is not a speed bump – but Hick, Biden, Cuomo, Schweitzer, and any number of others jumping in could be. Dems will be coming in to 2016 following an incumbent who is hatred for him by the other side is so vitriolic, the best way to combat it is with a smooth primary season followed by a clear nominee and united party while the other side is ripping itself to shreds trying to find a candidate.    

  34. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    the ticket has some sort of gender and ethnicity.

  35. Gray in Mountains says:

    would be a great Justice. I’d also agree that, unfortunately, at 65 she is older than what we would benefit the most from. But, would it not be a lot of fun to watch Rs nationwide losing their minds. It would probably be absolutely dangerous to drive. If you were smiling while driving some livid R would Tbone you

    Then you could just shoot them

  36. MADCO says:

    hucking filarious.

    I could be wrong.

  37. BlueCat says:

    He withdrew his name from nomination in 2009 and in 2010 decided not to run for re-election to the Senate and is now in the private sector so that didn’t really go anywhere for him.

  38. Littletonian says:

    I would LOVE to caucus for Brian Schweitzer.

  39. Littletonian says:

    the insight in your post is pretty darn good.

  40. Littletonian says:

    She doesn’t even have a J.D.

  41. Diogenesdemar says:

    I think my folks owned one of those in the early 70s . . . worst car ever made.  I preferred walking.  Dodge was a disgrace.  

  42. Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

    pickup truck now though, Dio. I love my truck…3/4 ton w/ a Cummins turbo-diesel. I am a bit curious about the new “Dart”, but haven’t gone to check one out, yet.  

  43. Littletonian says:

    Scalia went to Harvard Law. He was a law prof at Chicago and an assistant AG before serving on the DC circuit court.

    Chelsea Clinton has… a Master’s in Public Health? I think?

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