Governor Christine Gregoire is one of a few candidates on a short list to replace Solicitor General Elena Kagan, she of the recent Supreme Court nomination. Should Gregoire be tapped to head to that other Washington, this Washington would, for a time, then turn to Brad Owen, the guy who currently holds the state's most unnecessary job.
Why is this man smiling? He's got the plummest gig in state government.
Owen has served as Lieutenant Governor for 14 years. A gig that is so ill-defined and vestigial that eight states don't even have one.
(And some that do end up regretting it. Witness the disastrous rise of New York Lt. Governor David Paterson after someone got a hold of former Gov. Eliot Spitzer's little black book.)In nearly a decade and a half of service, all Owen has really done is prove that he's a Democrat who doesn't act like one: he's anti-choice, lukewarm on gay rights and is perhaps most famous for using his rock band to warn schoolkids about the dangers of pot.
Also, he got knighted by the Spaniards. Which is, well, great for him?
Owen was most recently in the news last November. Not for some creative new legislative initiative he was pushing, but rather because his best friend shot and wounded his son before turning the gun on himself in a highly-publicized murder-suicide.
It's unclear if Owen will even make the upgrade to the gov's mansion. Even less clear what he might do once there. But there's one thing you can safely assume should he trade up: like Paterson, Owen probably won't be there for long.