Rifle homeboy David Bernhardt skated through his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday to take the reins as secretary of the Interior Department.
He showed those Beltway insiders a confident Coloradan who stands firm in his ethical roots, and isn’t afraid to defend western issues that seem foreign to most easterners.
President Trump named Bernhardt acting secretary after Ryan Zinke resigned.
Comically, the best some Democrats could do was question Bernhardt why he didn’t stop his former boss from being the boss and making decisions.
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, who has known Bernhardt personally and professionally for more than two decades, introduced him at the committee hearing:
“Mr. Bernhardt’s formative years were spent on the western slope of Colorado, an area that is a microcosm of all the things we cherish about public lands.”
“Mr. Bernhardt’s personal background and public and private sector professional experiences prove he is a strong voice for the West and extremely well-qualified for the nomination to be secretary.”
Gardner cited Bernhardt’s extensive insight into western water policy, natural resources, conservation, endangered species, and Indian affairs just to name a few.
Even the panel’s ranking Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, had complimentary comments about the Republican nominee.
“I believe you are qualified and have a great wealth of experience,” Manchin added. “It is clear that you have the knowledge and experience to serve as secretary.”
The Senate is expect to confirm Bernhardt’s nomination, even as his other home state Senator, Michael Bennet, has pledged to vote against his constituent.