Geez, give a guy the nod on the eve of your state’s presidential caucuses, and the federal government’s apparently your oyster. Gov. Chris Gregoire’s name has been bandied about for any number of Obama administration slots: vice president, energy secretary, attorney general, commerce secretary, interior secretary, ambassador to Kiribati. (OK, I made that last one up).
Now comes word that another plum – some would say the plummest yet – assignment could be hers: U.S. Supreme Court. As our friends over at Political Buzz have already noted, The New York Times mentioned Gregoire as a possible replacement for supposedly retiring Justice David Souter.
To review from the last go-around of rumormongering (when the governor turned up in Iraq rather than Obama’s stable), if Gregoire were to depart for the other Washington, Lt. Gov. Brad Owen would take over until a special election could be held.
Back in January, the hope/fear was that an early departure by Gregoire would make perennial GOP foe Dino Rossi a shoo-in. I’m not so sure; after two failed bids, Rossi has the air of a has-been.
Attorney General Rob McKenna is looking a like a smarter pick these days if Republicans want to appeal to moderate voters. On the Dems side, there’s Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown of Spokane. Even if you didn’t agree with her income tax push this legislative session, you have to admire her dogged defense of it.
But does either have Rossi-like momentum to launch a gubernatorial bid on short notice? They and other potential candidate might be hoping that if Gregoire is indeed destined for D.C. that it takes Obama a bit longer to get around to tapping her.