Obama Autos
Charles Dharapak  /  AP
President Obama shakes hands with Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, center, as California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, right, and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, left, look on during an event announcing new fuel and emission standards for cars and trucks.
updated 5/19/2009 9:33:00 AM ET 2009-05-19T13:33:00

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, one of President Barack Obama's candidates for the Supreme Court, visited the White House on Tuesday for an event about the auto industry. That is the "primary" purpose of her visit, anyway, as the White House put it.

Granholm was on hand when Obama announced new auto fuel efficiency standards, a matter vital to the auto industry that helps define the economy in her own state.

It is not clear whether Granholm also met with Obama about the upcoming vacancy on the court; Justice David Souter is retiring this summer.

The president plans to conduct interviews before announcing a nominee but has not yet done any, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday.

Asked Monday whether Granholm and Obama would be discussing the Supreme Court, Gibbs said: "I think the governor's primary objective in coming is an announcement we'll make tomorrow on a different topic."

Picking Supreme Court nomineesWhen asked whether a secondary purpose was a court interview, Gibbs was coy: "I feel good about my first answer."

Granholm is among more than six people Obama is considering for the seat.

The 50-year-old Democratic governor is a former federal prosecutor and Michigan attorney general.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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