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NBC Names Heitkamp One Of Ten "Fresh Faces To Watch" in Congress PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chet   
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 15:32

Heidi.Heitkamp.Headshot2-e1333556561472NBC News issued its list of 10 fresh faces to watch in the new Congress.  Here's what they said about Senator-elect Heidi Heitkamp:

The daughter of a school custodian, Heidi Heitkamp once spent a summer working on a highway construction crew to put herself through school. The Democrat served as North Dakota's attorney general and as the executive of an energy company before scoring an upset win last month over Republican Senate candidate Rick Berg.

The onetime director of Dakota Gasification Company, which operates a plant that turns coal into natural gas, Heitkamp is squarely at odds with her party's own standard bearer on energy issues. Asked during a campaign forum what she would tell President Barack Obama about the nation's energy policy, she flatly stated that the administration is "wrong."

"You're wrong on energy. You're headed in the wrong direction. You made bad decisions," she said, according to The Associated Press. "You promised that you would promote clean coal technologies, that you would be a champion of coal, and you haven't done it." She also urged the president to replace Energy Secretary Steven Chu and EPA administrator Lisa Jackson.

A Democrat who eked out a narrow win in a state that voted for Mitt Romney by 20 points, Heitkamp faces targeting by Republicans hoping to lure red-state Democrats over to their side on key issues. She'll be a player on agriculture issues; she has said she's been offered a spot on the Senate agriculture committee and that she hopes to help shepherd a five-year Farm Bill to passage.


As I read the article about Heitkamp -- who, after orchestrating an amazing victory over a sure-thing-winner opponent, deserves the attention -- I couldn't help but wonder what sorts of top-10 lists a Senator-elect Berg would have been on.  He was the 14th wealthiest member of the U.S. House, but that probably wouldn't have gotten him in the top 20 wealthiest in the Senate. Top ten tea partiers? Top ten girls-flag-football-for-charity fans? 

I can't think of one thing about Berg that would have made him an interesting new senator to watch.

NBC is right: It will be interesting to see how Heitkamp fits into the bigger puzzle that is the U.S. Senate.  

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