For some time now both Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources and one of the biggest players in North Dakota’s oil fields, and Congressman Kevin Cramer have been rumored to be possibles to serve in President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet as Secretary of Energy.
Today Hamm told CNBC that Trump should pick Cramer over him:
“Kevin’s a great guy, and he would be a perfect candidate, as well. I’ve put his name forward,” Hamm said on Squawk on the Street. “He’d sort of do a better job in that post than me.”
Would Cramer take the job?
“I think it’s unlikely to happen,” Cramer told me during an interview on my radio show a couple of weeks ago.
Since then I’ve been told by sources closer that Cramer that he’s inclined to take the job if offered. I’ve got to think with Hamm’s endorsement – the oil tycoon was a major backer of Trump’s campaign – the likelihood of the offer happening has gone up.
And with Senator Heidi Heitkamp scheduled to visit with Trump tomorrow – rumors are she’s being considered for Secretary of Agriculture – could we end up with two North Dakotans in the Trump administration?
That would also create an interesting political situation here in North Dakota. State law would require that both Heitkamp and Cramer’s seats be filled by a special election. Democrats are unlikely to to field any competitive candidates for those races, but it would be all-out war among multiple Republican candidates for the race.
Or consider this scenario: Trump appoints Heitkamp, Cramer runs for the Senate, and the House seat opens up for a competition among what would undoubtedly be multiple Republican candidates.
I’d like to say that I know what scenario is likely here, but Trump has turned conventional political wisdom on its head, so who the hell knows.