Over the weekend we heard a lot about Senator Heidi Heitkamp sitting atop the list of potential Trump appointees for Secretary of Agriculture, but we didn’t hear a lot about Rep. Kevin Cramer.
Cramer was an early Trump supporter, and rumor was the Secretary of Energy spot was his if he wanted it. Cramer even told me on Friday that he’d accept any cabinet position Trump might care to appoint him to.
But something else Cramer confirmed to me in that interview may trump (pardon the pun) his value in the Trump administration.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met with Cramer about running for the U.S. Senate if Heitkamp is appointed. Now the news today is that Trump has narrowed his list of potential appointees to energy to three men, none of whom is Cramer:
The race to become Donald Trump’s energy secretary has now narrowed to three people — Ray Washburne, Joe Manchin and Rick Perry.
The Daily Caller has learned that Trump is expected to make a decision on the subject Monday afternoon and plans to announce the pick Tuesday.
I wonder what Cramer apparently being dropped from the running portends for Heitkamp’s rumored appointment?
Ask yourself, where is Cramer more valuable to Donald Trump? As Secretary of Energy? Or as the 53rd Republican in the U.S. Senate and a consistent vote for Trump’s agenda?
If Heitkamp moves to the Trump administration Cramer would almost certainly run for her seat in the resulting special election and win, because the North Dakota Democratic Party is in shambles and unlikely to field a candidate who could mount a serious challenge.
Cramer vacating his House seat would then, in turn, trigger another special election which would set off a landslide of potential Republican candidates (state Senator Tom Campbell has already told me he’d run).
Or maybe Trump doesn’t appointment Cramer or Heitkamp.
Or maybe he tries to appoint Heitkamp and she, bowing to pressure from her fellow Democrats, demurs. If you look at the list above you see that he’s courting another Senate Democrat in Joe Manchin.
Would Democrats really let Trump take incumbents out of their minority?
Interesting times, my friends.