Felicidades, (Nominado) Embajador Ken Salazar

UPDATE: Accolades incoming:

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Ken Salazar with former President Barack Obama.

Just in from the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter, though it’s been a prevalent rumor for some weeks now:

President Joe Biden has nominated Ken Salazar, a former U.S. senator from Colorado, to serve as the next ambassador to Mexico.

Salazar, 66, is the former secretary of the interior under President Barack Obama and had served as a Democrat in the U.S. Senate for four years before that. He is currently an attorney at WilmerHale and founder of the firm’s Denver office.

Salazar’s nomination will now go to the U.S. Senate, which must confirm him before he can take over the U.S. embassy in Mexico City.

Former Interior Secretary and U.S. Senator Ken Salazar’s expected nomination to serve as ambassador to Mexico was originally reported by Axios back in April, and we’ve been waiting since then to see it made official. Far from a patronage appointment, serving as ambassador to Mexico is one of America’s most challenging diplomatic posts, and we expect Salazar, a leading elder statesman to a whole generation of Colorado Democrats, will be very busy once confirmed.

20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowman says:

    Great pick. 

  2. bullshit! says:

    Since Ken Salazar descends from the land grant Spaniards of the San Luis Valley, does going to Mexico City count as a reconquista for our team?

    I'm just thinking like a right winger.

    Congrats Ken!

  3. Moderatus says:

    I wonder how much Salazar paid for this plum corruption post? They don't come free….

  4. kwtree says:

    Ken Salazar has “evolved” on climate change. As a Senator, and later as Interior Secretary,  he defended the interests of oil companies, opening up Arctic and the Gulf to offshore drilling.  Salazar was an early denier of climate change, or at least voted against having Federal projects consider climate change impacts in the design stage. 

    He also has made a name for himself advocating for conservation of land and water, and has an 81% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters. 

    We need progress on climate change deals with Mexico. The maquiladoras on the border spew toxic pollution into the rivers and exploit the poor and vulnerable….but generate huge profits for foreign investors, including from the US. Trump’s border wall, now thankfully halted, threatened wildlife corridors and habitat. Will Salazar try to reverse this and protect these areas? 
    Who will Ken Salazar be advocating for, as ambassador? 

     

    • Voyageur says:

      Maquiladoras provide desperately needed jobs and hope to the formerly poor and vulnerable.  I guess you'd rather see them starve.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Because, being poor Mexicans, they don’t really want, need, or deserve the same clean, air, and water that those corporations are obligated to maintain in their home countries??? . . .

        . . . eat shit toxic waste or starve?  That’s the choice you’re OK with giving??? White man’s gabacho “hope,” I guess.   FFS!

        “¡Hola, amigos! We’re from America, you know, um El Norte?, and we’re here to fuck you — ¿cómo se dice? — um, ‘help’!?” . . .

        • NOV GOP meltdown says:

          The Mexican government could certainly get tough on the American operators of the maquiladoras and enact and enforce stricter environmental regulations.  Kind of like the same way they cracked down and got tough on wanton violence, drug dealing, beheadings and such.

          Are American companies exploiting this situation ? – yes

          Is Mexico not doing shit about it ? – yes

          And my aim is not to pick on Mexico. See: American 1% tax policy. Same thing.

      • kwtree says:

        Maquiladoras pay about 100-200 pesos a day (USD equivalent 5-10$). Hardly a living wage, even in Mexico. . Also, since the bulk of their employees are young rural women, many of these unfortunately don’t survive in brutal, misogynistic Ciudad Juarez.

        All of this contributes to migration to the US, where US minimum wage looks a lot better in comparison  ( but cost of living is much higher). 
         

        Enough with the facts- now for my best V imitation, in which I will pretend to know your inmost thoughts and motivations: 

        You obviously don’t care about the struggles of people on the border, and would rather they spend their lives in wage slavery or are cut down by the cartelistas. Your union background has not given you any empathy for the most exploited workers, who depress US wages even while they help corporations rack up profits. 
         

    • MichaelBowman says:

      There was no shortage of similar criticisms of Biden’s legislative history going into the general election; he has largely proven his pundits wrong.  Vilsack was the subject of many of the same criticisms.   I’ve enjoyed my tenure with Ken throughout his political career: he was an ardent champion of renewable energy and he was responsible for getting biochar into the 2007 Farm Bill. We’re just now seeing the fruits of his labors in those regards.  As we all grow old, accumulate grandchildren, lose loved ones, and, for some, have the great blessing of being placed in a position of public trust and influence, agendas evolve.  

      He’s a good man and well-suited for this historic opportunity to build bridges and opportunity. 

      Biden is building a formidable team to tackle the challenges that face us.

      Speaking of…

      Vilsack tore into the Stephen Miller-directed group yesterday on their lawsuit challenging black farmers payments: 

      Vilsack blasts farmers suing over minority debt relief

      “It’s a wonder where those farmers were over the last 100 years when their Black counterparts were being discriminated against, and didn’t hear a peep from white farmers about how unfortunate that circumstance was,” Vilsack said.

      Vilsack defended the merits of the relief, saying it was meant to address comprehensive impacts of previous discrimination.

      “Now, we are seeing white farmers stepping up and asking why they’re not included in this program. Well, it’s pretty clear why they’re not included. Because they’ve had the full access of all of the programs for the last 100 years,” he said.

      “Those who were Black, those who were Hispanic, those who were Native American, those who are Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, did not have the full benefit, and the result is the system makes it very difficult for them ever to close that gap, ever to have a fair shot.”

      • kwtree says:

        Fair point about Vilsack and Biden being similarly criticized, but coming through on progressive policies.

        I hope you’re right about Ken Salazar. There are so many humanitarian and environmental issues that are part of the “border crisis”, for which a US ambassador could have at least some influence. It would be great to see him tackle US / Mexico corporate corruption the same way he broke up the cocaine-and-kickbacks culture at the Minerals Management Agency
        Yes, I get that an ambassador doesn’t have the same powers as an Interior Secretary; yet I remain skeptical that Salazar will use his voice on behalf of the most vulnerable people on the border, as opposed to those who profit from their exploitation.

        And I think progressives should watch and keep the spotlight on those human and environmental issues. 

        Time will tell. 

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