Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, mentioned as a potential veep and then as a likely secretary of labor, emailed Kansas reporters that she's taking herself out of the mix, the Kansas City Star reports.
Her choice leaves unclear whether Obama will pick a prominent labor secretary — Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm has also been mentioned — to speak for labor on the economic team, or a lower profile one whose job could be largely to reorient the Department of Labor.
Sebelius, like other governors, face a very tough few years running a cash-strapped state.
The Star writes:
“Given the extraordinary budget challenges facing our state, and my commitment to continuing the progress we’ve made in Kansas, I believe it is important to continue my service as governor of the great state of Kansas; a job that I love and have been honored to hold. The possibility of joining President-elect Obama’s team is exciting and compelling, but my service to the citizens who elected me is my top priority in these difficult times," [Sebelius said in her statement.]
“The good news for Kansans is that we will soon have a partner in the White House working with us as we face our unprecedented economic challenges.”
Sebelius' abrupt withdrawal even as the FBI reportedly was conducting background checks will surely fuel speculation that the governor did not get the Cabinet post she wanted or was rejected for the Cabinet altogether.