After the governor’s mansion, Gregoire admits a pop-up tent isn’t likely her next post

  • Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 7:41pm
  • News

By Jerry Cornfield Herald Columnist

The clock is ticking on the tenure of Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Only two weeks remain in what should be her final legislative session as governor. Then only 10 months are left before the state’s 22nd chief executive departs and a successor moves into the second floor office in the Capitol.

What will Gregoire do when time’s run out? Go to Disneyland?

No. But gallivanting around the nation in an RV is a scant possibility.

She gets asked about her plans almost everywhere she goes and from almost every group she addresses.

In the past, her name’s been among those rumored for posts in the Obama administration, and it’s likely to surface again should the president get re-elected.

Her future plans are not foremost on her mind, she says, given the entire goings-on with the Legislature from passing a same-sex marriage law to rebalancing the state budget.

“I think you can appreciate I haven’t had a lot of time to think about that,” she recently told representatives of about 50 aerospace firms.

Yet she and her husband, Mike, are contemplating life after the governorship, she revealed.

“We were thinking we would buy ourselves a pop-up tent trailer and for a month we would travel the country and go to national parks,” she said. “We even went to the (Seattle RV show) earlier this month.”

Once she saw them up close, she realized it might not be the best mode of travel, a point made by her daughters who said to them “Mom, Dad, what are you doing?’”

When the subject came up at a party recently, Gregoire told the crowd a man she didn’t know helped her pretty much rule out the idea.

“He says. ‘Let met get this straight. You live in a mansion and you’re going to buy a pop-up tent trailer. And you probably haven’t been with your husband 24/7 in what 30, 40 years and you’re going to travel the country with him, 24/7, in a tent? Let me know how that turns out for you,’ ” she said as the audience laughed.

But Gregoire’s voice turned serious as she admitted she wants to pause to catch her breath before figuring out the next step.

“I’m not done yet,” she said. “The word retirement — I have trouble even saying the word — is not in my vocabulary.

“We’ve got more to do. I’d like to find another way to contribute, but I do need a break,” she said. “I will be very honest with you, I need a break.”

Political reporter Jerry Cornfield’s blog, The Petri Dish, is at Contact him at 360-352-8623 or