Zinke Confirmed; Time to Move On

U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the Secretary of Interior this morning. The vote was 68-31. Montana Senators Steve Daines (R) and Jon Tester (D) voted for Zinke. Congratulations to Secretary Zinke and best of luck to him.

Here are some of my thoughts about Zinke and moving on from here.

I’m relieved that I won’t have to hear U.S. Senator Steve Daines tell the “Boys State” story about him and Ryan Zinke again. I have my doubts they were even buddies back then – or even very good buddies now.

There was a lot of complaining from the right side of the aisle about how long it’s taking for President Trump’s cabinet to be confirmed. Since the Republicans in the senate refused to give President Obama’s pick for Supreme Court a hearing, what did they expect?

Zinke totally disappointed me when he disappeared from his job after his nomination was announced. He was being paid to perform the duties as Montana’s Congressman and he failed.

In other words, Zinke, the so-called patriot who does not see “red” Montana or “blue” Montana, but sees “red, white, and blue Montana” quit on Montana.

Moving On…

Montana can now go about electing someone whom I hope will do the job as Montana’s lone U.S. House member. Now the fun begins. Montana will hold a special election in a couple months or so to the fill the seat and then about 18 months later, the winner will be running for reelection. So even if there’s a loss by one side or the other, they get another chance in a few months. Often an officeholder is most vulnerable during their first reelection attempt.

I hope the political parties will nominate someone who is younger and can stay in the seat long enough to gain some valuable seniority. Plus the grind of the job takes a toll on the officeholder. The travel is tough – even for someone younger. Many of the folks, who have stated they are running for the position, don’t really understand the demands of the job.

So good luck and thanks to all those who want to serve. I’ve lost count about how many people want to be considered for this seat. Is it 15 now? So now would be a good time to sell yourself to this blogger and the thousands of Montanans who will be voting in the special election.

Whoever wins this special election – please stay in the seat for as long as the people of Montana want you there. Please don’t screw over Montana like Denny Rehberg, Steve Daines, and Ryan Zinke did mostly because of their enlarged egos.

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4 thoughts on “Zinke Confirmed; Time to Move On

  1. I strongly disagree with your “quit on Montana” editorial. Having an Interior Secy hailing from Montana is one of the most influential and effective federal offices that one could hold to advance Montana’s interests. Toiling through Congress for 8 to 10 years to have only have a portion of such power doesn’t seem to be comparable to advancing Montana’s interests as the Interior czar. All the outrage and criticism of Zinke having taken a low profile during the confirmation process has me scratching my head. Just what has happened that has mattered for Zinke to have made a difference during this period given his very junior status in the House? The length of time this has taken to get done is the direct result of the Dem obstructionists. Perhaps your rebuke would have been bettered aimed at the real targets IMHO.

    • Craig:

      Thanks for commenting. I think it’s fine to have an interior secretary from Montana. That is wonderful. Montana should be proud. I wish him well.

      What is not wonderful is Zinke missing 89 out of 108 votes (82%) in this Congress while still being getting paid ($174,000 per year) to do that job. I can understand missing some votes to get ready for the confirmation hearings, but 89 of 108. Crazy. That’s the reason I said he quit on Montana. I stand by that statement.

      As for important issues in the House, I did a quick check and he missed votes on Obamacare, abortion, stream access, etc. Who knows what happened in committees and what votes he missed in those committees, like Armed Services.

      I addressed the “Dem obstructionists” as it is nothing but politics. Since the GOP blocked Obama’s SCOTUS pick, this is payback. The Dems are using the rules, just as a GOP would to make a point.

      Thanks again for commenting. I appreciate and respect your views.

      -JmB

  2. Having known both Sen. Daines and now Sec’y Zinke since 2007 and having spent time with the two together, I can erase your doubts. the friendship goes back years, though they had been separated for years as one’s career was business (some in China and he speaks fluent Mandarin) and the other took the path to server our country. I find your comments “surface skimming” which is what is going on all over this great country. If you want to be a great blogger…do a little research. Friendship takes all forms and theirs is real.

    As for Sec’y Zinke, he is a patriot and will step up if asked by the President…as would you if asked. That is something instilled in those who serve in the military and represent our country.

    • Prairiegram: Thanks for your comments. I appreciate them.

      It’s just my opinion that I think they were not buddies. I doubt if in 1979 they ran in the same circles (except for Boys State) but that really does not matter. Since you say you have known them since 2007 that is around the time that they probably needed to be friends more for political convenience than anything.

      One thing that has stuck with me since getting to know Zinke is that he seems to be the type of person who looks out for himself – a self promoter. I am disappointed that he is not in the House gaining clout on the House Armed Services Committee which could help Montana.

      Nonetheless, Montana took it on the chin again. We are ranked number 435 in House and when we do get a new House member, we will be near the bottom for years. Like I said, it’s time to move on…

      Thanks again,

      JmB

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