WASHINGTON — Sally Jewell, chief executive of outdoor retailer Recreational Equipment Inc., won easy Senate confirmation Wednesday to be the nation’s next interior secretary.
The Senate approved her nomination 87 to 11, with all the no votes coming from Republicans. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, was among those who opposed Jewell.
Jewell will oversee more than 500 million acres of national parks and other public lands, plus more than 1 billion acres offshore. The lands are used for energy development, mining, recreation, and other purposes.
One of the first challenges Jewell will face is a proposed rule requiring companies that drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands to publicly disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations.
The administration proposed a draft ‘‘fracking’’ rule last year, but twice has delayed a final rule amid complaints by the oil and gas industry that the original proposal was too burdensome. A new draft is expected this spring.
Jewell also is expected to continue to push development of renewable energy such as wind and solar power, both of which are priorities of the interior secretary she succeeds, Ken Salazar.
President Obama nominated Jewell last month to replace Salazar, who announced his departure in January.
Obama said in a statement Tuesday that Jewell’s extensive business experience — including her work as a petroleum engineer — and her longtime commitment to conservation made her the right person for the job.
‘‘She brings an important mix of strong management skills, appreciation for our nation’s tradition of protecting our public lands and heritage, and a keen understanding of what it means to be good stewards of our natural resources,’’ Obama said.
Jewell, 57, of Seattle, also was a banker before taking over Kent, Wash.-based REI in 2005.
NEW YORK — A bold comeback attempt or the height of chutzpah?
In what could be the start of one of the most intriguing second acts in American politics, Anthony Weiner, the congressman who tweeted himself out of a job two years ago with a photo of his bulging underpants, is considering jumping into the New York City mayor’s race.
The Brooklyn Democrat said in a New York Times Magazine story posted online Wednesday that he realizes he would be an underdog, but he wants to ‘‘ask people to give me a second chance.’’
‘‘I do recognize, to some degree, it’s now or maybe never for me,’’ Weiner, 48, said in a long and highly personal profile that he clearly hoped would be the start of his rehabilitation.
But are voters ready to forgive?
Political analysts say Weiner would face a steep climb to get past his past, but his political skills, his rich reserve of campaign money, and the dynamics of a crowded Democratic primary could make him a player, if not a clear winner, in the contest this fall to succeed Michael Bloomberg as mayor of the nation’s largest city.
Known as a congressman for his in-your-face style, he could punch up the forums and debates. And he certainly doesn’t lack for name recognition, for better or worse.
‘‘He’d be a real candidate,’’ said Maurice ‘‘Mickey’’ Carroll, director of Quinnipiac University’s polling institute. ‘‘His pluses are known. His minuses are known.’’
But Weiner’s problem could be less about what he exposed than about his attempts to cover it up.
‘‘People will say, ‘Why should we trust him again? He lied to us before — he’ll lie to us again,’ ’’ said veteran New York Democratic political consultant George Arzt, who isn’t working with any candidates in the mayoral race.