Alabama congressman being vetted for Obama post

Published 2:26 pm Friday, December 12, 2008

Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama is being vetted for an undisclosed position in president-elect Barack Obama’s administration, but he says he isn’t seeking a new job and doesn’t expect to be selected.

Davis, a three-term Democrat from Birmingham who attended Harvard Law School with Obama, said the transition team approached him several weeks ago and asked if he would undergo a background check. Davis’ office declined to say what position is being considered. Obama’s transition team, which has vetted dozens of potential nominees, declined to comment Friday.

“While I have agreed to allow the background check to go forward, I have not received any offer regarding this position and there are other extremely well-qualified candidates who are being considered by the president-elect,” Davis said in a written statement. “Candidly, I do not expect to receive any offer from the President-elect and I expect to serve in the United States Congress for one final term.”

His reference to a “final term” is another hint that Davis intends to launch a gubernatorial bid next year and is weighing his options carefully.

The Birmingham News first reported Davis being vetted by Obama’s transition team.

A former assistant U.S. attorney who directed Obama’s campaign in Alabama and is considered a rising Democratic star in Washington, Davis was mentioned early as a potential choice for attorney general. Obama has since picked Eric Holder for that post, although the nomination could still run into opposition in Congress.

Another possibility is at the Education Department, where Obama’s campaign has yet to name a secretary and has been facing competing pressures from teachers’ unions and other factions over his choice.