January 3rd, 2009
09:33 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama praises new Colorado senator, Michael Bennet

Bennet replaces Salazar, above, Obama's choice for interior secretary.

Bennet replaces Salazar, above, Obama's choice for interior secretary.

(CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama Saturday praised Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter's choice of Michael Bennet as that state's next senator, saying Bennet reflects "the qualities of the ruggedly independent state."

Ritter officially announced his choice at a Denver press conference Saturday.

"Filling Ken Salazar's boots in the US Senate is a tall order. But in selecting Michael Bennet, Governor Ritter has made an excellent choice," Obama said in a statement released by his transition office.

"Michael Bennet perfectly reflects the qualities of the ruggedly independent state he has been chosen to serve. An innovator in the public and private sectors, he has shown himself willing to challenge old thinking and stale policies," Obama also said.

Bennet, the Denver Public Schools Superintendent, replaces Sen. Ken Salazar, Obama's choice to be interior secretary.

Ritter had narrowed down his choice to either Bennet or the popular Denver mayor John Hickenlooper, and made his final decision on New Years Day, according to reports.

In the news conference Saturday, Ritter said Bennet is "exactly who we need representing Colorado."

"Michael has this unique set of personal and professional experiences that make him the right choice for Colorado," Ritter said, according to CNN Denver affiliate KUSA.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Colorado
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. IL voter

    Anna, that is Ken Salazar pictured, not Michael Bennett.

    January 3, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  2. opy in canada

    This is for Anna Merkens – That is not Bennet sweetie, that is Salazar.

    January 3, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  3. SMITH

    Anna Merkens, before you said anything , check first, the picture is Ken Salazar and not Bennet.

    January 3, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    @ Anna Merkens, January 3rd, 2009 8:42 pm ET

    Look at the picture shown on Bennet. He is inside a building, in front of the American flag with his hat on. This is not the American way, and I don't believe it is the way most Coloradans behave either. What kind of representation will he give to the nation when he doesn't even respect common courtesies and behavior in front of our nation's flag?
    ------------------------

    Before you start ranting about respect and behavior, maybe you should be more concerned with literacy, as in being able to read. As in reading the caption before spouting off:

    "Bennet replaces Salazar, ABOVE, Obama's choice for interior secretary."

    The photo is of outgoing Senator Ken Salazar, not Michael Bennet.

    (As if his wearing a hat inside is somehow indicative of the type of legislator or cabinet member a person would be.)

    January 3, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  5. skip

    @ Anna Merkens, January 3rd, 2009 8:42 pm ET

    Look at the picture shown on Bennet. He is inside a building, in front of the American flag with his hat on. This is not the American way, and I don't believe it is the way most Coloradans behave either. What kind of representation will he give to the nation when he doesn't even respect common courtesies and behavior in front of our nation's flag?
    ------------------------

    Before you start ranting about respect and behavior, maybe you should be more concerned with literacy, as in being able to read. As in reading the caption before spouting off:

    "Bennet replaces Salazar, ABOVE, Obama's choice for interior secretary."

    The photo is of outgoing Senator Ken Salazar, not Michael Bennet.

    (As if his wearing a hat inside is somehow indicative of the type of legislator or cabinet member a person would be.)

    January 3, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  6. clifford

    Proud American: How can you "thank God" when are obviously led by the devil! You are SUCH an idiot!!

    January 3, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  7. Godluvr

    I realize that many of you possess the 'holy grail" of intelligence and wisdom. But being the mere human that I am, I tend to believe that no one knows who will succeed and who will fail until they do so. Ms. Caroline K. is not experienced and inherited the legacy of a name, you say. Mr. Burris' drawback, as far as I know, is that he accepted the accused Gov.'s appointment. Given the fact that there are many "experienced" lawmakers in office, who have long forgotten that they are there to serve the people and not themselves, I say, let these individuals prove themselves before you begin to complain and bash without sound reasons. Be patient.

    January 3, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  8. Judith

    Salazar has been a disappointment to so many–it's time for his blandness to go. I think Ritter has had a mistake in appointing someone with little name recognition outside of education in Denver–and if you don't have kids, it's Bennett who? Unless the new Senator does several things to make him stand out throughout the State, his tenure will be very short term. Hickenlooper would have been outstanding and easily re-elected and even Bill Strickland should have been a player, his race with Allard was fairly close.

    January 3, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  9. Proud American

    Griff = Good lord you need to get hooked phonics or start posting pictures. Are you on drugs or really this stupid.

    January 3, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  10. Proud American

    Troy C = Very bright man.

    January 3, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  11. Proud American

    Timohty = Mr Obama becomes President of the United States on Jan. 20th at noon, until then your it's sitting President is still in charge. By the way what has he or any member of his staff had to say? Stop being a Idiot.

    January 3, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  12. clifford

    Texas Teacher: Do you have ANY education whatsoever??

    January 3, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  13. S Callahan

    Please, CNN set up a TICKER so we can vent regarding Israel..show our support even.....

    January 3, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  14. Mike, Syracuse NY

    @Matthew, what do we have a quota system? Do we need to replace an AA Senator(Obama) with another AA(Burris)? A woman(Clinton) with a woman(Kennedy), a Biden with a Biden, and a Hispanic with a Hispanic? What ever happened to the best qualified PERSON? By the way, Hispanic isn't even a race. It was an artificial creation generated by Congress in the 1970's to try to get Spanish speaking people to be qualified for Afirmative Action programs. There is no such thing as the Hispanic race, any more than the German race, Italian race, or Polish race. So what's the Congressional quota for German Americans? Or Swedish Americans? Or Italian Americans? They are just as much a 'minority' as Hispanics. Other than in the US, most Hispanics self identify themselves as Latino or basically descendents of Latin speakers (i.e. the Romans). Before I get blasted by PC liberals, google 'hispanic' first before replying.

    @Timothy, Obama hasn't said squat about Gaza because he doesn't have a clue what to do. His total foreign policy experience is the rock tour he took last summer.

    January 3, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  15. Who was Mike Connell?

    The guy in the hat is a putz.I think we have a binge drinker here on this ticker.Any agreement?Lets get a blood test.

    January 3, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  16. Sherrol in Canada

    Griff........OMG we can't take any more of your disjointed incoherent ramblings!!!

    January 3, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  17. Proud American

    Clifford, weren't you a crack baby?

    January 3, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  18. Sherrol in Canada

    @Perusing-Through............

    THE PLOT THICKENS . . .

    Recent report has it that U.S. Senate Chairman & Democrat Harry Reid was also caught on U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's wiretaps trying to pressure Gov. Rod Blagojevich 'NOT' to pick Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., Congressman Danny Davis, and Illinois State Legislative Senate President Emil Jones (whom are all Black) to fill President-Elect Obama's U.S. Senate seat.
    ———————————————————————————————–
    Do you have concrete proof of this, if so, this could really be explosive

    January 3, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  19. Mom in Denver

    If there ever is a man who should stay put it is Michael Bennett. If this whole Obama craze could make me any more upset it is by taking Mr. Bennett out of the Denver Public Schools. I'm not sure why he would even want to be in the middle of liars and thieves. I was really hoping he would say "no" to the appointment and continue to do the wonderful job he's done with in our public schools.

    January 3, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  20. Proud American

    Griff – Nearly dying in Kenya isn't good enough please go back and try again. Good Lord your a Idiot.

    January 3, 2009 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  21. 17 Days To Go

    Amusing how so many of the same people have something negative to say as soon as anything is posted usually without even reading the whole article and certainly with no knowledge of the subject or person involved.

    Your faith in your own "intelligence" and "inate ability to know everything" is almost as astonishing as the picture your comments reveal about how sad and pathetic your life must be!

    January 3, 2009 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  22. Ted

    I liked Hickenlooper, but an education-centered senator is badly needed. Also, is Salazar a cool name or what?

    January 4, 2009 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  23. Badboy

    It's like this. If you like Obama then he could pick any idiot and you would think it is okay. If you don't like him then nobody will be satisfactory. Personally, I think D.C. is so full of idiots that keep picking more idiots (Kennedy, Emmanuel, Salazaar, etc. etc.) that Obama could put the smartest people in the world there and it won't make any difference. Blago has it right!!! The seats in Congres and the Senate go to the highest bidders anyway. Quit whining and watch the circus continue!!!

    January 4, 2009 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  24. Rob Stumpf

    Good lord you need to get hooked phonics or start posting pictures. Are you on drugs or really this stupid.<<<

    Hooked ON Phonics, you nitwit.

    January 4, 2009 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  25. Ernie is LA

    This guy does not look really smart.

    January 4, 2009 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
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