Shaw: Heitkamp would have been a bad fit for Trump’s cabinet – INFORUM

However, Heitkamp does not belong in the new Cabinet. She wouldn’t fit in with Trump’s crowd of extremist selections. Secretary of Labor nominee Andy Puzder is against the minimum wage; Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., doesn’t believe in prosecuting hate crimes; Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos is hostile toward public schools; Secretary of Housing and Urban Development nominee Ben Carson has no knowledge of housing and acknowledged he isn’t qualified for any Cabinet position; Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson is too chummy with our enemy Russian President Vladimir Putin; Scott Pruitt, picked to head the Environmental Protection Agency, doesn’t believe in climate change; and Energy Secretary nominee Rick Perry wants to abolish that department, assuming he can remember it.

Trump has not drained the swamp; he has added more alligators. What was Heitkamp supposed to do if she became the new U.S. secretary of agriculture? Abolish assistance to farmers?

Meantime, the Republicans are about to have complete power. That is, they will control the presidency, House, Senate, and Supreme Court. No political party should have that much power. The only hope to force the Republicans to compromise comes from the Senate. That’s because much of the legislation in that chamber requires 60 votes, which the Republicans don’t have. Thus, it’s important that Heitkamp remain in the Senate, rather than be replaced by another Republican.

All of this takes us to the 2018 election. Heitkamp will have a tough time winning re-election, possibly against Congressman Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. She barely won in 2012, by less than 3,000 votes. However, the election of Donald Trump could help her. That’s because the party of the incumbent president usually loses seats in the midterm elections. In 2010, two years after the election of Barack Obama, the Democrats lost a whopping 63 seats in the House, and control of that chamber, and lost six Senate seats. Among those sent packing was longtime North Dakota Congressman Earl Pomeroy. If Hillary Clinton would have been elected, Heitkamp would have been linked to Clinton, who is very unpopular in North Dakota. With Trump in office, the moderate Heitkamp has a much better chance of winning.

— Not that it matters, but I’m curious. Did Heitkamp reject Trump’s request to join the Cabinet, or did Trump never make an offer?

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