President Obama is reportedly set to nominate Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus as the next ambassador to China. Baucus, the third longest-serving senator in this Congress, already announced he wouldn’t seek reelection in 2014 and his early departure could leave a Senate spot open for Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock to appoint someone—widely speculated to be Lt. Gov. John Walsh, who is already running for the seat. Putting him on a plane to China would also remove one of the Affordable Care Act’s critics, a happy accident, no doubt. Baucus has the experience in China, too: He’s traveled there extensively and has worked on trade issues with Beijing since the 1990s.
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