The National Journal's Hotline On Call and The Seattle Times are reporting that Gov. Chris Gregoire is on the list — On Call says the "short list" — to replace Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan as the nation's solicitor general. The news outlets quote anonymous congressional delegation and White House sources.
I interviewed Gregoire this morning on a different topic, but afterwards asked her about these persistent rumors over the past several days. While not completely closing the door to other opportunities, Gregoire insisted she has no plans to leave the governor's office before her four-year term is up.
"You know I have been asked over the last several months if I was interested in some things and I have made it clear, we are in the worst recession in 80-years. I owe it to the people of the state of Washington to stick to what I said I signed up for which is four years as governor of the state."
Asked if she'd qualify that answer with a never-say-never, Gregoire said this: 'êYou know I'êm not one who will say 'never,' I don't think that's right. But I have been very clear since the president was elected that now is not the time for me, that I've got to stick to my job. I owe it to the people of the state of Washington. I told them I'd be their governor, that I'd see them through this difficult period and I'm determined to do that."
Gregoire added that she has not been contacted about the solicitor general position.
This is a slightly edited version of a posting on Austin Jenkins's blog, The Washington Ledge.