Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: email@example.com
Since South Carolina will be the first southern state to hold a presidential primary in 2008, many of the governors who are gathered in Charleston for the annual meeting of the National Governors Association have been devoting their time to shmoozing local media and politicians.
But New Hampshire is still first, which is why former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt assuredly isn't running. Leavitt, the federal HHS secretary, outlined an ambitious plan to create new health information technology and quality standards before an NGA subcommittee Sunday. All the governors presented greeted him pleasantly and thanked him for visits he'd made taken to their states.
"Thanks for coming to New Hampshire," said Governor John Lynch. "We hope to have you back to come skiing some time."
"Thank you," Leavitt said. "I've never skied on ice before."
As the audience laughed and did some "you're busted" ooing, Lynch drily commented, "Mr. Secretary isn't running for president."
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.