Content Gregoire will only go if Obama really needs her

Former Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire seemed a lock for a gig in President Barack Obama’s administration when she left office in January.

Obama had plenty of cabinet seats to fill and Gregoire seemed qualified to sit in most of them, given her resume.

But those options dwindled this week when Obama named a new secretary of Energy and an administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; Gregoire was rumored to be under consideration for both.

She is not upset about it. In fact, it sounds like it’s going to take a bit of a presidential shove to get her to accept work in the other Washington.

“I’m happy. Right now I want to be with my family,” Gregoire said Tuesday after chewing the fat with three other former governors for an upcoming TV special.

She’s reconnecting with family after 20 years of around-the-clock duty as an elected official. She’s got a standing weekly date to baby-sit her granddaughter and said it will require quite a lot for her to break it.

“The conversation I had with the president was if something comes up where you absolutely need me” then she would serve, she said.

Obama is looking for new secretaries of commerce, transportation and labor, as well as a trade representative. Gregoire’s eyes didn’t light up when asked about those positions.

“There was nothing I wanted to leave my family for,” she said.

— — —

What a difference a few months can make in politics.

Last fall, Republican John Koster couldn’t get much help from the national GOP in his battle with Democrat Suzan DelBene for a seat in Congress.

Now those same folks he approached in the National Republican Congressional Committee are all excited about unseating DelBene in 2014.

On Wednesday, NRCC leaders targeted her for defeat and bought a tiny Google ad to kick off what they imply will be an ongoing campaign in the coming months.

Why is DelBene attracting their attention?

First, the 1st Congressional District, which includes areas of east Snohomish County, is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. This means each election should be close and every incumbent, regardless of party, is at risk.

Second, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee tacitly acknowledged this when it included DelBene in its vulnerable incumbent protection program known as Frontline.

DelBene wore it as a badge of honor in a fundraising letter this week.

“A select group of Democratic members are chosen to be a part of this program, but with that comes a stark realization: My re-election will be challenging, and even our national party agrees that we need to start now to build a strong campaign for 2014,” she wrote.

Republicans seized on her inclusion in the program.

“We share Suzan DelBene’s enthusiasm in being named to the Democrats’ vulnerable list and look forward (to) helping in her transition from ‘endangered incumbent’ to ‘former congresswoman’ come Election Day 2014,” a NRCC spokeswoman said in a statement.

What kind of help they’ll provide isn’t clear. But any amount of energy they expend will likely be more than they did to keep her out of office.

Political reporter Jerry Cornfield’s blog, The Petri Dish, is at www.heraldnet.com. Contact him at 360-352-8623 or jcornfield@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Departing mayor’s locally drawn portrait joins city’s pantheon

Artist Elizabeth Person’s portrait of Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson will hang with others at City Hall.

Inslee proposes tapping reserves, carbon tax in budget plan

The proposal also includes money for the mental health system and efforts to fight opioid addiction.

One dead in crash south of Granite Falls

Two cars collided near the intersection of N. Lake Roesiger Road and Hidden Valley Road.

2 women struck, injured while crossing busy roads

The first happened Wednesday night in Everett. The second was Thursday morning in Edmonds.

Lynnwood robbery leads to lockdown at Edmonds schools

Edmonds police said it was just a precaution as they search around Edmonds-Woodway High School.

Marysville 7-Eleven hit by armed robbers

Officers set up a perimeter and brought in a police dog, but the man couldn’t be found.

Snohomish man, 63, missing from home since Monday

He left without his keys, wallet and phone, saying something about going to “the river.”

Counties fed up with unfunded mandates may sue the state

For example, no money has been provided to install, maintain and clear out required ballot boxes.

4 teens accused of murder plead not guilty

Prosecutors allege they worked together to plan and executea robbery that was supposed to get drugs.

Most Read