Valerie Plame, the former CIA officer whose identity was leaked in 2003 by members of the George W. Bush administration, is seriously considering running for Congress in New Mexico in 2020.
Plame, a Democrat, told The Washington Post in an interview Friday that she plans to make a decision soon, but she described the prospect of running as “exhilarating.”
“I would love the opportunity to serve my country again,” she said. This time “more overtly,” she joked.
Plame became a household name after she was identified by name in a Washington Post column, setting off a two-year-long investigation into who leaked her identity. At the time she was married to former ambassador Joseph Wilson, who publicly disputed the Bush administration claim that Iraq was trying to acquire uranium for weapons of mass destruction.
Lewis “Scooter” Libby, a former chief of staff to Vice President Richard B. Cheney, was convicted in 2007 of perjury and obstruction of justice related to the leak. President Trump pardoned Libby last year.
Plame left Washington for New Mexico in 2006 after she resigned from the CIA for a quieter life. Her desire to potentially return as a member of Congress is due to a confluence of timing and self-professed duty.
Rep. Ben Ray Luján, who is the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, announced this week that he is running for the U.S. Senate, leaving his House seat open. The district, which covers northern New Mexico, is reliably Democratic, so whoever emerges from the primary is likely to be its next representative in Washington.
The news of Plame’s possible run for office was first reported by the Associated Press.
Plame is a frequent critic of President Trump and in 2017 sought to raise $1 billion to buy Twitter so that she could then ban Trump from his favorite communication tool.
“Let’s #BuyTwitter and delete Trump’s account before he starts a nuclear war with it. The whole world will thank us when we do!” she wrote on a GoFundMe page that ultimately raised $89,719.
“I am deeply concerned for my country. I think Trump has been a disaster, it’s humiliating to have him as our president,” Plame told The Post.
If Plame were elected to Congress, she would not be the only former CIA officer. She would join Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) and Will Hurd (R-Tex.), who are all spies turned politicians.
Plame said she is engaging local Democrats and her family about whether to run. She’s also spoken to national Democrats about getting in the race. The opportunity to represent her community, she said, would be “an honor” but also “terrifying.”
“I know I am a target in many, many ways,” she said. “I guess the good news is that I have been tried and tested; I have done some scary things in my life. I don’t want to not do this because I’m scared.”