Obama Adds Centrists Salazar, Vilsack to Cabinet

Salazar brings centrist cred to the team
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2008 1:07 PM CST

(Newser) – Barack Obama added Ken Salazar and Tom Vilsack to his growing list of Cabinet appointments today, tapping the noted centrists as secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture respectively. “It is time for a new kind of leadership in Washington that's committed to using our lands in a responsible way,” Obama said, promising again to “make the rural agenda America’s agenda.”

Salazar and Vilsack each have reputations as centrists, and their selections drew praise from both environmentalists and food industry leaders. “He’s going to be an honest broker,” one environmental advocate said of Salazar. Those who’ve worked with Salazar say he seeks compromise and will likely follow Obama’s lead rather than set his own agenda. The president of the National Farmers Union, meanwhile, called Vilsack a “great choice.”