Governor would not appoint herself senator should Joe Lieberman become Secretary of Defense, she told the press today.Gov. M. Jodi Rell, staying put.

Amid continued speculation that Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman could replace Donald Rumsfeld as the next Secretary of Defense, Gov. M. Jodi Rell stated categorically that she would not head to Washington if Lieberman does indeed vacate his Senate seat.“I would not appoint myself,” Rell said, adding: “I believe being governor is a wonderful job.“The New York Daily News reported yesterday the White House thought about naming Lieberman ambassador to the United Nations before appointing John Bolton, and that they are considering Lieberman to replace Rumsfeld. When a Senate seat becomes vacant mid-term, it falls to the governor to appoint a replacement. Rell said she has done “very limited thinking” as to who she would name, but nothing extensive.“I don’t put a lot of stock in rumors,” she said.On another front, Rell responded to questions about her pledge not to take campaign contributions from lobbyists or state contractors, while leaving the state Republican Party free to take such donations.“I’m not accepting checks from a political action committee,” Rell said, including the state party.What about in-kind services like polling data? If the state party conducts a poll and shares the results with Rell’s campaign, isn’t her campaign benefitting from a service purchased with special interest money?“If a party wants to help a candidate with poll data, without question I don’t see anything wrong with that,” Rell said. After the press conference, Rell’s campaign spokesman Rich Harris made an unsolicited call to to say the governor will not ask the Republican Party to provide those services on her behalf. “She’s not asking the party for in-kind contributions,” Harris said. “If the party decides to do something like that, and had information helpful to the campaign, she would look at that. But she’s not asking for that.”