Since nobody asked me…here’s what I can tell you about our homestate governor, Janet Napolitano, who was just nominated by Barack Obama to be our nation’s next Homeland Security Director:
First, let me warn you about something — because if I don’t, you’ll probably do an involuntary “spit-take” when you first encounter this: Napolitano has a horse-laugh you usually don’t hear coming out of a woman as petite as she is, or for that matter, anyone of either gender outside of a Blue Collar Comedy audience. Not that there’s anything “wrong” with that, I’m just saying — next couple times you find yourself listening to her speak informally on TV…put down your coffee cup or your beer!
I’m going to resist the urge to call Gov. Napolitano “Janet Reno’s ‘Mini-Me’” (whoa, see how I did it anyway? Hee-hee.)…but, let’s face it, the similarities are there: both are, ahem, “lifelong bachelorettes”…with sensible hair and shoes…and “sturdy builds.” But, to be serious (and nobody outside Arizona believes this!) — the question of her sexual orientation has never come up, publicly, in any of her election campaigns. (Now, privately - that’s another matter!)
What kind of a Homeland Security Director will she make? I’d say pretty good. Look, the only thing we really have to judge whether a Homeland Security Director is worth a damn is how they look during the supposedly impromptu “Media Opportunity” after each natural or man-made disaster. Think back on all the stiff, stumbling, and insincere “performances” of Michael Chertoff or Tom Ridge! Blecchhh! Well, Napolitano is different. At least she can ACT the part. Every summer, when 2 or 3 whole Arizona counties decide to completely burn themselves up, she’s right there, “Janet-on-the-spot,” in between the TV cameras and a bunch of firefighters several feet taller than her. But, God love her, she’s got this Annie Oakley-persona full of earnestness and gumption and moxie – shit, you could actually picture her helping out with the firehoses and the shovels, and then having a couple beers with the fire crew afterwards!
One other thing I have to mention that’s not hugely important, but it is somewhat interesting in a “strange coincidences the Universe pulls on us” sort of way. And, what the heck, this could actually win you some weird bar bet some time (or not). Anyway, this is it: if and when Napolitano becomes Homeland Security Director, she will be succeeded as Governor by the Secretary of State, a woman named Jan Brewer; and the Governor before Napolitano was Jane Hull. Ergo: come January 20, the state of Arizona will have had THREE consecutive FEMALE governors named: “Jane,” “Janet,” and “Jan.”
Make of that what you will. (I personally think it’d make a helluva Mantra or chant to open meetings of N.O.W., or better yet, EMILY’S LIST, the organization devoted to getting more women elected. You’re welcome, gals — just be sure and spell my name right on the royalty checks!)