After nearly a decade as the state's attorney general and a couple of stints on talk radio, smarmy Grant Woods -- unofficial leader of the Mod Squad of left-leaning Arizona Republicans -- has stepped back into the shadows.
Or has he?
Is the incredibly ambitious, relatively young, spotlight-addicted Woods content to sit on his duff and fatten his coffers by acting as spokesman for folks like hockey magnate Steve Ellman, the Bidwill Boys and, on occasion, actually practicing law?
Earlier this year, the Republican announced emphatically that he won't run for governor in 2002. But don't count him out. This guy's a master at sticking his finger in the wind and figuring out which way to blow -- promises to the likes of his good friend Matt Salmon be damned. Come early 2002, if it looks like Grant can win, count on Grant to jump in the race.
And if not? He's still the best politician in the land, by our estimation. If you don't believe us, just look at the list of local perennial loser candidates choking the ballots: Paul Johnson, Terry Goddard, Steve Owens -- must we go on?
Knowin' when to fold 'em is the mark of a true political talent. No one's going to call Grant Woods a has-been. At least, not for a while.