The photo of Ken Salazar in the ten-gallon hat yesterday had us cussing because it just seemed so inappropriate for a press conference, unless one were trying to convey via costume where his allegiances lay. It wasn't as if he needed to keep the sun off his brow.
No, Salazar wore that hat to signify the power position of western ranchers over public lands and to signal reassurance to anyone afraid of the black man standing behind him and the green machine that worked to get him elected.
Those of us working in the West understood immediately the significance of his costume; its a cue to the extractive industry establishment that he's one of them. It's terrible, really, because those guys have been driving the western public lands to ruin for, oh, 130 years now. It's disappointing that even Barack Obama is suckered by these symbols.