Why is Granholm really at the White House?

M. Spencer Green/ AP/ FILE
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm appeared at the White House today to attend the national tailpipe strategy event hosted by President Obama. Her appearance has led many to wonder if she would have a follow-up meeting with the president to discuss the soon-to-be-vacant Supreme Court seat.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm's appearance at the White House today is leading a lot of speculators to speculate. We were, in fact, speculating about this last night.

Officially, Granholm was there to attend President Obama's national tailpipe strategy event (which as it turned out had nothing to do with Eddie Murphy's tailpipe strategy in "Beverly Hills Cop").

Granholm was on the guest list for the event along with two other state chief executives – Governor Schwarzenegger and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick – and a bunch of industry officials like Obama appointee Fritz Henderson, the President of General Motors.

But Granholm is getting the extra attention because she's reportedly on the short list to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter.

Might she pop over to the Oval to discuss the job opening?

Enuf z nuf

Enough of the speculating! She's there for only one purpose, according to her flaks.

"The governor is there for one reason and one reason only – to attend the announcement on vehicle emissions standards," spokeswoman Liz Boyd told the Detroit News.

That's basically what White House Pinata Robert Gibbs said yesterday. But on the topic of the new Supreme Court Justice, he did drop one bombshell.

"He is going to interview people he thinks that are qualified, and make a pick as to the person he thinks is best qualified," Gibbs said.

Fake out

Although arguably qualified, the Granholm chatter is all a "head fake", according to ABC legal correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg. "A Granholm nomination would be like manna from heaven for Republicans searching for something, anything, to make this nomination fight spectacular," she writes.

The problem with Granholm? Where to begin? Greenburg reels off a long list of hurdles she'd have to clear noting that "... in today’s environment, you really don’t want your nominee’s name tossed about with phrases like 'FBI investigations' or 'tax liens' or 'lucrative contracts' or 'contracting problems.'"

"This first Supreme Court pick for the new President has to be a home run--with impeccable credentials and experience and a squeaky clean record. And under the bright lights of a Supreme Court confirmation, politics--even if they’re not dirty--don’t always look squeaky clean," Greenburg writes.

Click here to read her story.

We'd like to nominate you to follow us on Twitter (whether your credentials are squeaky clean or not).

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