Thursday, November 20, 2008

Napolitano's Exit Would Leave Arizona in GOP Hands

Napolitano Appears to be Obama's Homeland Security pick!
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, who graduated in 1974 from Albuquerque's Sandia High School, is President-elect Barack Obama's choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security, multiple news agencies reported late Wednesday.

If appointed, the Democrat in her second term would head the sprawling federal agency, which is responsible for immigration policy and border security as well as emergency response issues.

The Governor's Office neither confirmed nor denied the reports Wednesday.

When asked whether the governor has been offered the Homeland Security post, or whether she has indicated she would accept it, Napolitano spokeswoman Jeanine L'Ecuyer said repeatedly, "I can't answer that."

A popular Democratic governor in a red-state, and an early Obama supporter, Napolitano, 51, has been the focus of Cabinet speculation for weeks.

Her departure would send ripples through Arizona politics. Republican Secretary of State Jan Brewer, next-in-line to the governorship, would serve the remaining two years of Napolitano's term - putting all three branches of state government under GOP control.

Napolitano has racked up a record number of vetoes during her first six years in office as she often played defense against a Republican-dominated Legislature.

Both CNN and Politico reported the news of Napolitano's selection for secretary of Homeland Security.

Arizona Democrats close to Napolitano knew little late Wednesday.

"She's not said anything to anyone. She's not made any calls," said one, a good friend of Napolitano's who asked to remain anonymous.

Another prominent Democrat called the Homeland Security offer one Napolitano "is highly likely to accept."

"I suspect we're looking at a pretty done deal here."
Napolitano graduated in the same high school class as Vice President Dick Cheney's controversial chief of staff, David Addington.

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