Former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (D-Ill.) threw her hat into the ring as a candidate for President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Biden says staff has spoken with Fauci: ‘He’s been very, very helpful’ MORE’s Interior secretary in a new interview published Wednesday.
Moseley Braun, who was the Senate’s first Black woman member and an early supporter of Biden’s White House bid, told The Washington Post that the position is “just a natural fit for me.”
The former Illinois lawmaker, who also served as ambassador to New Zealand in the late 1990s following her single Senate term, would be an unusual choice to lead the Interior Department given her lack of experience on environmental issues.
Should she be considered, she would join a trio of New Mexico lawmakers who are widely reported to be the top contenders for the role: Rep. Deb HaalandDebra HaalandThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC – Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet GSA transition delay ‘poses serious risk’ to Native Americans, Udall says MORE (D) and Sens. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichFive House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet House Democrats push Biden to pick Haaland as next Interior secretary OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Haaland being vetted by Biden team for Interior Secretary | Progressive group slams Biden White House pick over tie to fossil fuel industry | Green groups sue over Arctic drilling plans MORE (D) and Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallFive House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet Overnight Energy: Biden names John Kerry as ‘climate czar’ | GM reverses on Trump, exits suit challenging California’s tougher emissions standards | United Nations agency says greenhouse gas emissions accumulating despite lockdown decline GSA transition delay ‘poses serious risk’ to Native Americans, Udall says MORE (D). Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) has also been floated as a possible nominee.
The post has frequently gone to someone hailing from a Western state and Haaland would make history as the first indigenous person to serve in a cabinet post as Biden taps her for the post.
However, Moseley Braun has one advantage that could be key: she’s close with a president-elect and he puts a premium on personal relationships. She served with Biden on the Senate Judiciary Committee and has appeared on the campaign trail for him during his past failed presidential campaigns.
Moseley Braun told The Post that she has been in contact with Biden’s team about possibly joining the incoming administration.
“All I’ve done is let them know I’d like to be of service,” she said, noting that Interior secretary would be her first choice. “I’m not going to get into an elbow fight or knife fight with anybody over this stuff. I know there’s intense competition.”
The Biden transition did not immediately provide comment to The Hill when asked about Moseley Braun’s remarks.
Moseley Braun indicated that she views climate change as an existential threat that the country must deal with, though she had little experience on the issue during her time in the Senate.
“Climate change is the existential threat; that’s the challenge for our generation,” she said. “If we don’t do something about that, we are failing the next generation.”
Moseley Braun’s Senate term, which ended after a 1998 defeat to Republican Peter Fitzgerald, was marked by scandal after she made several trips to Nigeria while it was ruled by dictator Sani Abacha and hired her then-fiancé, Kgosie Matthews to serve as her campaign manager.