Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

If you were Gov. Napolitano, how would you put your stamp on the Department of Homeland Security?

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Originally published on BuzzFlash.com on Fri, 11/21/2008 – 7:47am

It’s as official as it can be at this point that Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano will be the new Director of Homeland Security. Napolitano is well-suited and well-qualified for the post. And it didn’t hurt that she was an early supporter of Barack Obama.

You could say I’m biased since I did meet her briefly on my whirlwind Indiana tour in May. But she is a former U.S. Attorney, former Attorney General, and current Governor, all in a major border state.

And Napolitano can’t run for re-election in 2010, so she would need a job. There has been a lot of talk about her running for John McCain’s Senate seat in 2010, and she still might do so. But since McCain has announced that he is running again, she might be reassessing her chances.

The immediate drawback to the news is that her replacement in Arizona will be a Republican. Arizona does not have a lieutenant governor, and Secretary of State Jan Brewer will jump up to the top spot. But whomever was going to run for governor from the Democratic Party in 2010 knew the position would be open for some time.

But since Napolitano will be the third Homeland Security chief ever and the first Democrat, she would be an idea choice to redefine the position. This artificially created position, after the September 11 attacks, has been shaped in the George W. Bush mold.

Assuming this position will be around for awhile and actually useful — maybe — it is imperative to have someone in the position to truly reshape what the Homeland Security position should do. And assuming an 8-year run for President Obama, Democrats can shape this position — and the 22 agencies contained within — in a way to make it last well beyond the Obama years.

No more color charts, no using it to unnecessarily harass visitors to the U.S. – those are the easy choices. But FEMA is one of those 22 agencies. There is a lot under this umbrella. If you were Gov. Napolitano, how would you put your stamp on the Department of Homeland Security?

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Written by democracysoup

November 21, 2008 at 7:47 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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