Although he helped sell the stimulus package by appearing on national television on behalf of President Obama, Governor Corzine said today has not been approached about the open Commerce Secretary position in the Obama Administration, and today nipped in the bud any speculation that he might be interested in it.
“No one has spoken to me about it, and I’m going to say the same thing I said when we had the flurry of conversation about the Treasury,” said Corzine, who was vetted for Secretary of Treasury by then-President Elect Obama’s transition team. “I like what I’m doing. We have enormous challenges in New Jersey and I’m working on trying to serve the people of New Jersey as best as I can as we go through these economic times. We need consistent on focus o that, and I have no interest in the commerce secretary position.”
Corzine made the comments during a conference call with reporters after participating in a meeting with President Obama and the nation’s governors.
There has not been serious buzz that Corzine was being considered for the position, although the idea did circulate on Blue Jersey and a left-leaning message board.
Obama’s first choice for the position, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, withdrew because he was facing a federal investigation. The second choice, U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), also withdrew, claiming opposition to the stimulus bill and control of the next census.
Corzine also remarked on the dinner he attended last night with Obama and the other governors, saying that event was less formal than those he attended in the Bush White House. For instance, instead of watching a concert after dinner, the guests danced to a performance form the band Earth, Wind and Fire.
“This was about an hour and a half of opportunity for governors from both sides of the aisle to actually have a great time together in an informal setting. The president and his wife participated in all the activities,” he said.