Mike Gregoire / He's a first, but always his own, man
Q: What are the challenges you face as the state's first "first gentleman"?
A: There's no manual for this. It's new terrain. So I can pretty much take off in what areas I want to go.
It's kind of an inside joke with the family that I don't relish being called the first gentleman. I have a military background, and I certainly respect protocol and chain of command, but I don't think this necessarily follows.
Q: What are your duties?
A: Certainly I have traditional roles that come with being the first spouse, but I have a passion for veterans affairs, so that's where I focus a lot of my time and attention.
Q: What are your goals for that?
A: We already feel we've accomplished significant goals. Just the last legislative session . . . look at what was accomplished.
Q: Some watch the TV show "Commander in Chief... "
A: Oh, yes, I was trying to pick up some tips there, but he didn't have any Thanksgiving recipes to share, did he? No, seriously, we were trying to watch the other night but some music awards show was on.
Q: You're not interested in politics, right?
A: I'm independent. You knew that, didn't you? I have Democratic leanings. (Laughs) I've always been concerned with leadership in this country. I want the country to have the best leadership available.
Q: But what about personal aspirations?
A: The woman I've loved and been married to for over 30 years, who is governor of the state ... I think that's enough politics in the family, don't you? And I really don't want to be a commissioner of professional sports, which I believe was one episode (on "Commander in Chief").
He didn't go for it, did he? Somebody told me that he saw that he needed to stay on the home front. Certainly as a vet, I appreciate that.
Q: Some men would find it uncomfortable to be married to someone with such a high profile.
A: You're right, I meet people like that all the time. I know where some of that comes from, and I've always been amazed at ... What do you want me to say?
We go back a long way. I met Chris when I got out of the Army in 1971 and she was amazing, and she amazes me every day. This is probably getting a little personal but ... we know each other quite well. And our family is tight. Our friends know who we are, and our values.
Q: Any advice for other first gentlemen?
A: Just be yourself.
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company