November 20, 2008 Leave a comment
News outlets are now reporting that Arizona’s governor, Janet Napolitano, is going to be named Secretary of Homeland Security by President-elect Obama.
Napolitano brings law and order experience from her stint as the Grand Canyon State’s first female attorney general. One of the nation’s most prominent female elected officials, she made frequent appearances on behalf of Barack Obama during the campaign. She was reelected to a second four-year term in 2006.
Transition insiders have long expected that she would be offered a Cabinet slot, although she had also been mentioned for other posts, including attorney general.
Napolitano, 50, endorsed Obama in early January, just as the primaries were kicking off, and the female up-and-comer’s decision to back the Illinois senator got widespread coverage.
In 2005, Time magazine named her one of America’s five best governors, calling her “A Mountaineer on the Political Rise.”
Napolitano is extremely popular in Arizona, and since she was an early Obama supporter, many people were wondering why she was never shortlisted for VP, like Kansas Governor Sebelius or other prominent female possibilities.
To this, political columnists for mainstream publications would say, “Well, uh, there might be some problems with that, anyway, what a nice day it is today!!”
But since ROTI is not hindered by things like public outrage, we’re gonna come right out and say it. Janet Napolitano is clearly a lesbian, and you don’t win Virginia, Indiana and North Carolina with a geigh on the ticket. Sad but true.
Nobody in the mainstream media will acknowledge this, but it’s pretty well known if you’ve spent any time in the Grand Canyon State that the Governor is unmarried, unlinked to any gentlemen, and sports a style that would fit right in at a WeHo bar. (Actually, the alt-weekly Phoenix New Times was willing to go there.)
So while this will go unremarked-upon by almost every publication and TV show, we have reached yet another barrier-breaking moment in American politics. America takes yet another step into the 21st century! Not only will we be entrusting homeland security (and associated issues like immigration) to a strong, independent, self-made woman – we’ll be protected by a tough, no-nonsense ass-kicking (albeit closeted) lesbian!
We’re pretty pleased about this most of all because beyond identity politics, Napolitano is smart, capable and all-around pretty awesome. And as Governor of a border state, she truly understands the correct approach to our country’s immigration problems. (For reference, immigration was one of the few issues that former border state Governor George W. Bush was totally right about.)
The interesting side story to this is that Napolitano is term-limited, and would be done as Gov. in 2010 regardless. Many people speculated that she might take on John McCain for his Senate seat.
As 538 reports, the polling is mixed on this matchup:
Napolitano, popular among her constituents as well as with the netroots, was to be term-limited in 2010, but was reportedly considering a run for Arizona’s Class 3 senate seat, currently occupied by John McCain. At least one poll had shown Napolitano ahead of McCain in a trial-heat matchup, although McCain remains fairly popular in Arizona and had led Napolitano in other polling of the state.
A promotion to Homeland Security would not inherently dash Napolitano’s prospects of running for the Senate. Florida’s Mel Martinez, George W. Bush’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, stepped down from his position in 2003 to run for Florida’s open senate seat, and last year, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns did the same to run for Nebraska’s; both Republicans won. Martinez and Johanns, however, had served in their positions for the better part of three years, whereas Napolitano would presumably have to vacate her position by early 2010 to run a competitive race against McCain. Martinez and Johanns, moreover, were running for open seats that they were favored to pick up, whereas Napolitano would have to run against one of the icons of the Senate, albeit one who recently suffered a notable electoral defeat.
There is also a chance — maybe even a fairly good chance — that John McCain chooses not to run, although my gut-level read of the situation is that McCain would not want to end his career on a losing streak and therefore becomes less likely to retire if he does not have to worry about Napolitano.