O'Malleywatch is up with renewed speculation about the possibility that Attorney General Doug Gansler might be leaving for a job in the Obama administration. That rumor has been kicking around for a while because Gansler was a big and early Obama supporter in Maryland and is a former federal prosecutor.

It wouldn't be all that surprising to see him take a job in the justice department, particularly if he got something big in enviornmental law or one of the other issues he focuses on the most. On the other hand, Gansler has been raising a lot of money for a re-election bid -- enough to scare off competitors and set himself up as a front-runner for governor in 2014. Going to the federal government would definitely take him out of that mix.

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The O'Malleywatch rumor goes on with more details: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown would then become attorney general (the governor gets to make an appointment in the case of a vacancy) and then maybe HoCo Exec Ken Ulman (a close O'Malley ally) becomes Lt. Gov. Sort of plausible, though I'm not sure what Ulman would do to solidify or expand O'Malley's base, which is, of course, the chief qualification of any lieutenant governor.

It would definitely make sense for Brown (given that the attorney general has actual job responsibilities, which the lieutenant governorhip lacks) and possibly for Ulman (who would get much more statewide exposure).

Brown -- who was at Harvard Law School at the same time as Obama -- has been rumored for an administration position as well. But he was passed over for Veterans Affairs secretary. And today, the White House announced that Illinois veterans chief Tammy Duckworth has been tapped as assistant veterans affairs secretary for intergovernmental affairs, another job that Brown was said to be in the running for. (To see the White House announcement, click the "read more" link below)

Like I said, this kind of speculation seems to flare up every now and then and doesn't necessarily mean anything. If anybody else out there is hearing rumblings along these lines, let us know.

Update: Brown spokesman Mike Raia says he has "no reason to believe" Brown was a candidate for the assistant secretary job.THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

_________________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release February 3, 2009

Duckworth Tapped for VA Assistant Secretary

WASHINGTON (Feb. 3, 2009) – President Barack Obama has announced his intent to nominate L. Tammy Duckworth, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, to be the Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

"Effective communications with Veterans and VA's stakeholders is key to improving our services and ensuring Veterans receive the benefits they deserve," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "Tammy Duckworth brings significant talent, leadership and personal experience to this important work."

As assistant secretary, Duckworth will direct VA's public affairs, internal communications and intergovernmental relations. She also will oversee programs for homeless Veterans, consumer affairs and special rehabilitative events.

Duckworth was appointed director of the state Veterans office in Illinois in 2006. In previous testimony before Congress, she expressed her commitment to Veterans and the need for transformation of the Department. "The VA system faces new challenges as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." She also noted "the patient profile is changing. More wounded soldiers are surviving very serious injuries."

She is serving as a major in the Illinois National Guard and was previously deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom where, as a captain, she was assistant operations officer for a 500-soldier aviation task force. She also served as a logistics officer and company commander. As a helicopter pilot flying combat missions in 2004, she suffered grave injuries when her helicopter was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, losing both legs and partial use of one arm.

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Her previous managerial experience includes coordinating the Center for Nursing Research at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, and working for Rotary International's Asia-Pacific region from 2002 to 2004.

Duckworth earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Hawaii and a master's degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Born in Thailand, she is the daughter of a U.S. Marine who fought in Vietnam. She is married to Iraq war Veteran and National Guard officer, Major Bryan Bowlsbey.

For more information, please contact the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Public Affairs 202-461-7600.

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