Politics & Government

Gregoire tells White House she doesn't want federal job

Gov. Chris Gregoire told the White House today that she does not want to be considered for the job of solicitor general, which Elena Kagan held until her appointment last week as Supreme Court justice.

Gregoire, a second-term Democrat, has said for weeks she was not looking for an appointment by President Barack Obama, but in almost the same breath would suggest that she did not know how she would react if the president formally asked her. Today's call apparently made it clear: She doesn't want to be asked, aides said.

"She explained that she does not want to be considered. She mentioned it is not the right time for her and it is not the right time for the state," spokeswoman Karina Shagren said. "Obviously she is humbled that she may have been considered."

Shagren did not have the name of the staffer Gregoire talked to.

Last week, the SeattleP-I.com quoted Gregoire at a news conference as saying:

"I have had no position offered, I've made no application," said Gregoire, formerly the state's attorney general. "You know, I can't imagine a worst time for a governor to leave the state of Washington than in the middle of this economic crisis. So I'm not applying. I want to stay in the state and continue to do my job. The only caveat I have is I don't know what it's like to have a president turn to you and ask you to serve your country. So that's the only thing that lurks in my mind. But I want to stay put, I want to do the job. I want to get us out of this economic crisis we're in."

This should end a lot of the speculation.