Smith to D.C. law firm

This will undoubtedly give the "revolving door" critics something to talk about today. Former Sen. Gorden Smith (R-Ore.) is heading to Covington and Burling, a powerful D.C. law firm that has a lobbying arm.

Smith, who, by the way, is technically barred from lobbying his former colleagues for two years, told the Oregonian that he is excited about the new job, which he said will focus on international trade and foreign relations. "This offer was extremely appealing to me," Smith told the daily, "because some of my loves in the Senate were foreign relations and international trade and obviously policy development, and those are things which I know very well and hope to be able to use to the advantage of the firm."

Smith was defeated by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) last year. Jeff Mapes, the Oregonian's top notch political writer, noted that Smith's new job makes it unlikely he'll run for office again. Smith wouldn't close the door on that possibility though, and noted that several Republican have urged him to consider challenging Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) in 2010.

"I may again hear that call someday" to run for office, he told the paper.

Smith said he did not rule out running for office in 2010 -- he's been urged by Republicans to consider both the open race for governor and a challenge of Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. -- but added that he was enjoying being in private life again. He also acknowledged that taking a job in Washington, D.C., is a sign that he isn't positioning himself to run in 2010.

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com