Tales from the Trail

Napolitano on court speculation: ‘I have a job’

OBAMA/Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who has ended up on many media lists speculating about potential Supreme Court nominees,  says she is not looking for a new job.

At a news conference to introduce the new head of FEMA and talk about hurricane preparedness — the season starts June 1 — the former governor of Arizona was asked about the chatter that she may be a contender for the vacancy of retiring Justice David Souter.

“I have a job,” Napolitano said.

“And as you can tell from this press conference it’s a pretty big one,” she said to the reporters gathered in the FEMA press room. “I’m not looking for another job.”

Analysis — A fairly standard Washington response. Officials possibly being considered for other posts almost never want to divulge anything for fear of appearing eager, and always try to make sure they verbalize satisfaction with their current jobs.

In the parlor game of who will take Souter’s robe, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s visit to the White House for an announcement on emissions got tongues wagging about whether that was cover for a chat with President Barack Obama about the Supreme Court.

The First Draft: White House wooing comes in waves

OBAMA/It’s a busy day at the White House, with waves of lawmakers moving in for talks with President Barack Obama, in between a press statement and before a commencement address.

Wave One: House Democratic leaders — Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel of New York and Education and Labor Chairman George Miller and Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman, both of California — come to discuss health care.

Wave Two: Senate leaders from both parties — Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont, both Democrats, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and ranking Republican Jeff Sessions of Alabama — talk with the president about a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter.