Peterson nixes Cabinet role; Oberstar a bit less firm

Publicly at least, politicians must resist measuring the White House drapes, but journalists are always eager to whip out the measuring tape.

On Friday, Forum Newspapers’ Don Davis and Scott Wente asked two powerful Minnesota Democratic House Committee chairs — Agriculture’s Collin Peterson and Transportation’s Jim Oberstar — if they would accept Cabinet positions in a Barack Obama administration.

Peterson’s answer? No. “Peterson said being a top federal ag official would muzzle him too much,” the Forum reporters wrote.

Oberstar said the threshold would be “very high,” adding, “I’ve seen what happens to well-intentioned people who go into Cabinet offices and then they’re surrounded by people they have no control over, policymakers who have other agendas.”

Peterson — who declined to endorse Obama until after the primaries — was probably never in the hunt. Oberstar endorsed Obama just before Minnesota’s presidential caucuses; he had been a John Edwards backer.

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