Obama picks REI exec Jewell for Interior

posted at 10:01 am on February 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Not a bad choice, for a couple of reasons.  Barack Obama will replace outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar with Sally Jewell, the CEO of outdoor sports and clothing giant REI, the White House will announce today:

President Barack Obama on Wednesday will nominate business executive and former engineer Sally Jewell to lead the Interior Department, an administration official said. …

If confirmed, Jewell would replace current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who held the post throughout Obama’s first term. Salazar announced last month that he would step down in March.

Politico notes the favorable past interactions between Jewell and the White House:

POLITICO reported last week that Jewell had emerged as a serious candidate for the job, noting that she introduced Obama at a 2011 event at the White House regarding the administration’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. She was also among the business leaders invited to the White House in 2009 to be praised for their efforts to lower their companies’ health care costs. …

A former Interior Department official quickly praised Jewell.

“Sally has overseen the growth of a $1.8 billion company consistently ranked among the best U.S. companies for which to work. An engineer by training, she is a practical, no-nonsense leader who is focused on results,” the former DOI official said in an email. “Will bring fresh perspective and new ideas: A problem-solver by nature, Sally brings people together to find new solutions to old challenges. She knows Washington, D.C., but she also has the much-needed perspective of a business leader who has forged a career outside of D.C.’s partisanship and politics.”

Perhaps.  Republicans will likely respect the business experience Jewell will bring to Obama’s administration, if only for its lonely example.  Jewell also brings the first hint of diversity to Obama’s second-term appointments, which will please Democrats embarrassed by the lack of such over the last few weeks.  Don’t expect Republicans to let the confirmation hearing pass without demanding answers on the Keystone XL pipeline, the EPA’s war on coal and regulatory adventurism, and the interference with fracking and natural gas production.  James Inhofe will certainly have something to say about all of these as ranking member of Environment and Public Works.

However, her resumé might also prompt some tough questions from the President’s side of the aisle:

Jewell is the president and chief executive officer at the outdoors company Recreational Equipment, Inc., known as REI, which sells clothing and gear for outdoor adventures with more than 100 stores across the country. Prior to joining REI in 2000, Jewell worked in commercial banking and as an engineer for Mobil Oil Corporation.

Honestly, if a Republican nominated an Interior Secretary who worked in the banking industry and Big Oil, you’d be hearing the howls from environmentalists across the entire nation. Will Jewell get a pass for being an Obama supporter?  Probably, but I’d still expect some muted criticism to be heard — and assurances will be proferred that Jewell will be a born-again activist as Interior Secretary under Obama.  Of that, there should be no doubt.


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Will Jewell get a pass for being an Obama supporter?

I love your rhetorical questions.

KS Rex on February 6, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Obama picks REI exec Jewell for Interior

Why? Because she knows a lot about mountain bikes and thermal fleece?

steebo77 on February 6, 2013 at 10:04 AM

I will never purchase another item from REI.

Mr. Arrogant on February 6, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Obama could nominate a fake pile of plastic crap as anything and it would give rave reviews.

Cindy Munford on February 6, 2013 at 10:07 AM

REI, which sells clothing and gear for outdoor adventures

The business experience is a plus, but would you hire a CEO from a uniform manufacturer to tun the Pentagon ?

J_Crater on February 6, 2013 at 10:10 AM

To Obama, selling outdoor gear and clothing, some of which probably has camouflage patterns on it, and this means she is “an outdoor sports enthusiast”, which equates to being a hunter/skeet-shooter/supporter of the Second Amendment. Now he can say, “See? I even appointed an outdoor sports enthusiast. I don’t want to take your guns.” Yes, it’s not logic in its commonly understood form, but I bet that’s how his pea brain works. Never mind that all REI makes is gear and clothing. If it looks like hunters’ camo gear, she must be in favor of gun ownership. Sadly, this type of twisted logic will fool many rubes.

totherightofthem on February 6, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Preview should have been my friend. Sorry about the grammar lapse in the first sentence. I modified and failed to delete extraneous words.

totherightofthem on February 6, 2013 at 10:21 AM

The business experience is a plus, but would you hire a CEO from a uniform manufacturer to tun the Pentagon ?

J_Crater on February 6, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Obama might. To him such an action would be clear signal that he supports the military. I mean, if he’s willing to clothe them, he must be willing to arm them, allow them to shoot back, care for the wounded, and make sure they are generally well-provisioned and led.

totherightofthem on February 6, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Hero Sandwich

I she any relation to Mr. Richard Jewell, the police officer who was abused by our press, primarily NBC News and the Atlanta Journal Const.?

He sued, you know.

Now we have the arch villain Zimmerman and we don’t know how that will end.

I wonder what the amount of Bologna is healthy. Maybe the media should check it out.

http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/best-worst-sandwich-meats/bologna.php#slidetop

IlikedAUH2O on February 6, 2013 at 10:24 AM

She’s a greenie and an AGW believer, this will not end well.

Bishop on February 6, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Honest question, is it also to satisfy the gay lobby? Or is it not a homosexual?

melachiro on February 6, 2013 at 10:25 AM

She’s a greenie and an AGW believer, this will not end well.

Bishop on February 6, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Of course she is. Obama would never appoint someone who wants to open more federally-controlled land to domestic energy production. Nor would he appoint anyone who wants to stop the federal land-grab that’s currently going on in its tracks and reverse the damage already done. Can’t have that. Why, we might even help our economy and what would he have to blame on the Republicans if the economy improved?

totherightofthem on February 6, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Since when do resumes and qualifications matter? Republicans and democrats will confirm anyone that obama puts forward for any position – like they always do.

Pork-Chop on February 6, 2013 at 10:28 AM

REI seems pretty deep in the eco-madness.

PattyJ on February 6, 2013 at 10:30 AM

An engineer by training, she is a practical, no-nonsense leader who is focused on results,”She knows Washington, D.C., but she also has the much-needed perspective of a business leader who has forged a career outside of D.C.’s partisanship and politics.”

While I wish her all the best, those credentials have a history of failure in DC.
Being your own person is not exactly euphemism used to describe Obama appointees.

Jabberwock on February 6, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Land for People Award, Sally Jewell

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLMnSoOfVT4

canopfor on February 6, 2013 at 10:33 AM

A year from now we are going to refer to Ken Salazar’s tenure as the “good old days”.

jeffinsjvca on February 6, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Go figure he picks another air-headed female who’s got a terminal case of the “greenie goofies”. I suppose such posts are she CAN do in life, since nobody with a working pair of eyes would marry her.

MelonCollie on February 6, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Read the article to the end, folks:

Prior to joining REI in 2000, Jewell worked in commercial banking and as an engineer for Mobil Oil Corporation.

M240H on February 6, 2013 at 10:40 AM

The business experience is a plus, but would you hire a CEO from a uniform manufacturer to tun the Pentagon ?

J_Crater on February 6, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Why not? They understand logistics (which all good Generals study), and the overwhelmingly byzantine procurement system.

JeffWeimer on February 6, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Don’t expect Republicans to let the confirmation hearing pass without demanding answers on the Keystone XL pipeline, the EPA’s war on coal and regulatory adventurism, and the interference with fracking and natural gas production. James Inhofe will certainly have something to say about all of these as ranking member of Environment and Public Works.

…John Wayne Gacey and John Kerry would be confirmed by Republicans, after ‘demanding answers’…it’s what they do! They are the ‘demanding answer’ party!
They have ‘demanded’ a Federal Budget required by law for the last 4 years too!…There are two political parties…The Demands and the Democrats!

KOOLAID2 on February 6, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Read the article to the end, folks:

Prior to joining REI in 2000, Jewell worked in commercial banking and as an engineer for Mobil Oil Corporation.

M240H on February 6, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Notice she isn’t at Mobil Oil anymore? She’s well-known for her support of the eco-nazis. Being an engineer at Mobil Oil doesn’t preclude that. For all we know she was in their alternative fuel development programs at R&D.

totherightofthem on February 6, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Notice she isn’t at Mobil Oil anymore? She’s well-known for her support of the eco-nazis. Being an engineer at Mobil Oil doesn’t preclude that. For all we know she was in their alternative fuel development programs at R&D.

totherightofthem on February 6, 2013 at 10:43 AM

True enough. But with banking and Mobil experience, she at least understands that wealth is only created by the exploitation of natural resources, all other endeavors are service and merely transfer wealth. My hope is that she brings a better understanding to fracking, and other exploration.

M240H on February 6, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Next up you’ll need a copyright release from the wolf you are photographing.

Limerick on February 6, 2013 at 10:52 AM

JeffWeimer on February 6, 2013 at 10:41 AM

If anything at DOD needs a money-saving overhaul, it’s procurement. Holy cow do we waste money jumping through all the wickets – and it’s the wickets that count, not military capability. Look at the Navy’s shipbuilding the last 20 years: the only high-value/reasonable cost programs have been DDG 51, the Ford class Aircraft Carriers, and the Virginia-class Attack Subs. DDG 1000 – meh. LCS – double Meh. LPD 17 – finally getting operational after YEARS of substantial problems.

I won’t even go into the Air Force and tankers, F-35 (that’s Navy, too!), F-22, etc.

JeffWeimer on February 6, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Honest question, is it also to satisfy the gay lobby? Or is it not a homosexual?

melachiro on February 6, 2013 at 10:25 AM

A 2005 Seattle Times profile indicated that she had a husband and 2 college age children.

Del Dolemonte on February 6, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Republicans will likely respect the business experience Jewell will bring to Obama’s administration, if only for its lonely example.

Yeah but will the Democrats ‘respect’ it?

GarandFan on February 6, 2013 at 11:21 AM

So does this mean that REI is next on the Obama Bankruptcy Tour?

search4truth on February 6, 2013 at 11:36 AM

True enough. But with banking and Mobil experience, she at least understands that wealth is only created by the exploitation of natural resources, all other endeavors are service and merely transfer wealth. My hope is that she brings a better understanding to fracking, and other exploration.

M240H on February 6, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Fair enough. I’ll keep an open mind (not wide open, mind you, but open enough) though I fear we will both be disappointed.

totherightofthem on February 6, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Thats a man, baby.

Mimzey on February 6, 2013 at 11:38 AM

She can’t be as dumb as Hagel, but always fear the clever socialist more than the foolish one.

Spartacus on February 6, 2013 at 11:42 AM

what a joke…

tom daschle concerned on February 6, 2013 at 11:50 AM

The business experience is a plus, but would you hire a CEO from a uniform manufacturer to tun the Pentagon ?

He did worse — He nominated and defended Hagel on the grounds that, as a former enlisted man, he knows something about the way the Army thinks.

Every freaking 18 year old private has that… Really?? That’s all he thinks is needed to run the Pentagon? But that’s what we got.

Dirty Creature on February 6, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Not that you would expect anything else from 0bama, but:

Born outside of the USA
Loves high taxes (except the ones she has to pay)
Rabid environmentalist
Globalist

LegendHasIt on February 6, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Since when do resumes and qualifications matter? Republicans and democrats will confirm anyone that obama puts forward for any position – like they always do.

Pork-Chop on February 6, 2013 at 10:28 AM

This. No point in a discussion. Thread over. Next.

Jackalope on February 6, 2013 at 11:56 AM

She will make Salazaar look like a moderate choice.

CorporatePiggy on February 6, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Ed is funny.

Born outside of the USA.
Loves high taxes except the ones s/he has to pay.
Rabid environmentalist.
Globalist.

And obviously a Lesbian.

Schadenfreude on February 6, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Sorry Legend, this s/b in quotes

Born outside of the USA.
Loves high taxes except the ones s/he has to pay.
Rabid environmentalist.
Globalist.

Schadenfreude on February 6, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Payback for the first gay president.

Schadenfreude on February 6, 2013 at 12:35 PM

First ‘woman’ to join Obama’s exec team.

Just like he’s the first woman president.

Schadenfreude on February 6, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Sure, because having GE and Google execs in his administration has done so much for individual liberties and free enterprise.

jnelchef on February 6, 2013 at 12:48 PM

If it has not been done prior this just begs to be done.

“Two Stoned Birds”

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 6, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Dude bears a certain resemblance to Kathleen Sebelius.

Doodad Pro on February 6, 2013 at 1:39 PM

What does fascism loom like for 16 trillion Alex

tom daschle concerned on February 6, 2013 at 1:41 PM

And obviously a Lesbian.

Schadenfreude on February 6, 2013 at 12:30 PM

See my 11:04 AM post.

Del Dolemonte on February 6, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Did she used to be a guy? Just askin’, based on that photo on the front page.

Rational Thought on February 6, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Why do all the women in this administration look like men?

realitycheck on February 6, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Why do all the women in this administration look like men?

realitycheck on February 6, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Or look like they were on a field trip from their Special Ed class and wandered off when their minders weren’t looking?

MelonCollie on February 6, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Why do all the women in this administration look like men?

realitycheck on February 6, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Because Obama isn’t a ladies’ man. He’s a man’s man.

totherightofthem on February 6, 2013 at 3:14 PM

See my 11:04 AM post.

Del Dolemonte on February 6, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Heh, good one, I saw your post bef. I posted all that followed. It’s all in front of eyes that see. There are plenty of them.

Schadenfreude on February 6, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Did she used to be a guy? Just askin’, based on that photo on the front page.

Rational Thought on February 6, 2013 at 2:02 PM

She looks more male than Obama, the first woman president.

p.s. don’t ask such rational questions.

Schadenfreude on February 6, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Del Dolemonte on February 6, 2013 at 1:58 PM

So, Homosexuals never marry to someone of the opposite ‘gender’ and reproduce?

I don’t know for sure whether she is straight, Bi or homo, but she is a bit of a heroine of the Seattle Lesbian community.

LegendHasIt on February 6, 2013 at 4:00 PM

1) While I know she was moved to the United States in the late 50′s I cannot find evidence that she is an American citizen. Does that matter anymore?

2) Won’t she be SURPRISED when 0bama refuses to meet with her once she is ushered into her orifice. Everyone knows how well 0bama pays attention to his Regime today.

DannoJyd on February 6, 2013 at 4:45 PM

1) While I know she was moved to the United States in the late 50′s I cannot find evidence that she is an American citizen. Does that matter anymore?

DannoJyd on February 6, 2013 at 4:45 PM

“No – we’re all citizens of the world, rube” — Obama

Schadenfreude on February 6, 2013 at 4:59 PM

And here I thought Tom Poston was dead.

Stu Gotts on February 6, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Lookie here

Schadenfreude on February 7, 2013 at 3:21 PM