Politically buzz-worthy: 5 Washington rumors worth watching

It’s been a big news day for political junkies, with three Democrats making news: Byron Dorgan ditching his run for re-election in North Dakota, Chris Dodd falling on his sword for the sake of the party in Connecticut,  and Bill Ritter announcing he won’t run for re-election as governor of Colorado. But wait, there’s more buzz out there, all of it juicy:

1. Senator Ed Schultz? The talk radio/MSNBC host confirmed on the cable network this morning that he has been approached by party leaders in North Dakota about running for his friend Byron Dorgan’s Senate seat. Expect some numbers from enterprising pollsters out there on whether he’d be viable. (Hint: fame always helps, and Schultz and his wife have been stalwart Dakota boosters.) But how pissed would Chris Matthews be if Schultz becomes a Senator before him? The Huffpo provides a run-down of Schultz’s MSNBC comments today. (Dorgan will give Ed an exclusive interview tonight.)

2. Did Chris Dodd jump, or was he pushed? There has been talk for months about the necessity for Dodd to step aside so that the far more electable Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut’s attorney general, can run for his seat. The Atlantic and Roll call offer hints that Dodd’s reward could be a cabinet position in the Obama administration; possibly even Treasury Secretary, which could provide a convenient (for the Obama administration) exit for this guy, although Dodd’s AIG and Countrywide problems would haunt him through the nominating process. If the rumor is true, the administration could be banking on that old Senate collegiality to put Dodd through with his former colleagues…

3. The Colorado-Caleefornia fix? From Ben Smith at Politico comes the intriguing three-dimensional chess rumor of the day: could the Obama administration get Ken Salazar, the former Senator from Colorado and current Interior Secretary, to run for the governor’s office now being vacated by Bill Ritter, and then fill Salazar’s Interior post with … wait for it … the Governator? As Smith notes, Ahnold would sure put a powerful, high profile face (and some muscle) behind the push for a climate change fix.

4. So that’s why he moved to New York … Harold Ford, who narrowly lost a bid for the Senate from Tennessee in part because of a commercial hinting at his taste for white women, and who then married one … has taken his show on the road, and now lives in New York, where he’s apparently considering making another go at it, this time by primarying Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand. It would be a Blue Dog vs. Blue Dog contest, ironically, and one in which neither candidate would get much love from the base. I for one, would like to see Harry’s first meet-up in a Black church, facing down all those angry Black women… According to the Beast, Harold is being egged on by some high flying donors in NYC.

5. No more Rahmbo? Liberals would dance in the streets if the president’s ultimate deal-maker, Rahm Emanuel, were to head for the door, and Sally Quinn of the WaPo suggests he might be considering doing just that, to run for mayor of Chicago, should Richard Daley make his own exit. Getting a new chief of staff wouldn’t be a bad thing for President Obama, provided he gets someone with 1) more stature than Rahm on the Hill and the ability to put down rebellions, including by outliers like Joe Lieberman, 2) a defter political touch, especially when it comes to managing the Democratic base, and 3) Rahm’s personal loyalty to the president.

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