Nearly 1,000 of Colorado’s biggest political names began to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama a night early, during a gala in Washington, D.C., according to 9News.

As The Los Angeles Times notes, Democrats have seized opportunity in several Rocky Mountain states, staking a claim to dominance while reinventing their party as more moderate and pragmatic. Among “important” steps, writes the Times, is Obama’s appointment of U.S. Senator Ken Salazar as interior secretary, particularly because of his “style of politics:” practical, business-friendly, and centrist.

KUNC spoke with Colorado Statesman editor and publisher Jody Hope Strogoff about the last step in Salazar’s appointment process.

Meanwhile, Greeley’s Tribune, quoting political experts, implores you not to compare Obama to President Abraham Lincoln. Given the challenges of war and the economy, try President Franklin Delano Roosevelt instead, especially since Obama seeks to intervene with government programs.