Update: Visiting troops in Iraq….Good for her.
Pacific Northwest blogs lit up with rumors tonight that Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire is headed to D.C. to take Bill Richardson’s place as Commerce Secretary nominee.
Denials all around, but eyebrows still raised:
Gov. Christine Gregoire is out of state, but her office won’t say where she is or what she is doing — other than to say she’s not going to work for President-elect Obama.
Gregoire’s mysterious absence left local political blogs buzzing this afternoon with speculation that she could be in Washington, D.C., preparing to accept a job with the Obama administration.
Gregoire was on a plane to D.C. on Sunday morning. But Marty Brown, Gregoire’s legislative liaison, said the governor’s trip has nothing to do with a job in the new administration.
Speculation about Gregoire’s whereabouts started after her office called The Associated Press on Monday afternoon to cancel her planned speech Tuesday at a pre-legislative session forum sponsored by the news agency.
Some kind of announcement is expected tomorrow. Maybe she’s just playing coy until Obama’s crack staff of vetters finishes shuffling through the paperwork. Or maybe it’s part of a bigger Obama initiative to fork over federal aid to states.
Wishful thinking: Maybe she’s going to recommend that other governors do as she’s doing and consider quicker criminal alien deportations that will make their states safer and save them money in hard economic times.
One of my sources said he couldn’t tell me where Gov. Chris Gregoire is now, but assured me she would still be my governor in March. “She’s not going to take Bill Richardson’s place as Commerce Secretary. So you can kill that story.”
But he wouldn’t tell me anything else. And the governor is supposed to announce “something big” at 10:05 a.m. tomorrow.
Another source speculated that Gregoire has lined up a big chunck of federal money for Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct, and she’s going to announce it Tuesday. (And it would have to be a big chunk because that project keeps getting more and more expensive.)
It could be broader than that. Democratic governors are set to meet again with Obama this week about the stimulus package. Gregoire has been active in pushing for a large boost to state’s with shovel-ready projects but there is no word as to whether she will be part of any meeting.