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Opinion: Obama picks Salazar for Interior and Chicagoan Duncan for Education

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President-elect Barack Obama will raid the Senate again for yet another Cabinet member (Interior) and name a Chicago basketball buddy to head the Education Dept.

According to the Swamp, Obama will continue the presidential tradition of naming a Westerner to head the Interior Department by picking Colorado Democratic Sen. Ken Salazar, a Western Latino who campaigned for the Illinoisan this past fall. He’s a former attorney specializing in water law.

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The blog also reports that Tuesday morning Obama will name Arne Duncan as the new Education Secretary. Duncan, a frequent player in Obama’s favored pickup basketball games, currently heads the Chicago Public Schools system and has drawn bipartisan praise for his urban education reforms.

(See video below on Duncan and on Obama’s environmental appointments Monday.)

As recently as last week the current Republican Education Secretary, Margaret Spellings, said, ‘I don’t want to hurt his chances, but I think he’s a terrific school leader.’

Salazar’s pick will open up a Senate seat and new contest in what had previously been a Republican stronghold of Colorado.

More over here in the Swamp.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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