Connelly, the online paper's political columnist, is basing his information on a "very private prediction from a very senior source in Washington's congressional delegation."
Prediction or not, the story is gaining traction, especially in the nation's capital, where any news concerning Obama's new cabinet appointees for a second term rivals the latest developments surrounding RGIII and the now-vanquished Redskins.
Gregoire was director of Washington's Department of Ecology before being elected Attorney General in 1992. The future governor made her reputation by negotiating a Hanford nuclear waste cleanup agreement with the first Bush administration, which has held up in court through efforts by the feds' to wiggle out of their commitments.
The administration's top environmental post became vacant with the recent resignation of EPA administrator Lisa Jackson. A former boss of New Jersey's environmental agency, Jackson enjoyed an up-and-down ride in the Obama administration.
An early and strong supporter of Obama in 2008, Gregoire, 65, who turns over the ship of state to Jay Inslee at the stroke of noon Jan. 16, has earned mixed reviews on her environmental record.
As Connelly notes, she's drawn praise for her efforts to cleanup Puget Sound and as leader in the Western Climate Initiative. But she's also aligned herself "with shipping, agriculture and economic interests in the struggle over what the federal government will be required to do in restoring salmon runs to the Columbia River system."
Gregoire's lame-duck spokesman, Cory Curtis, told The Daily Weekly last night that he is not aware whether Gregoire has any offer from the White House as regards the EPA post.
"It could be that she just wants to be a grandma," Curtis said.