With the election of Barack Obama, Governor Napolitano finds herself propelled back to the national scene. Having endorsed the president elect early in the primary race, she is in the good graces of the new administration. She has already been welcomed into the transition team, can cabinet or other appointment be far off?
The question she needs to ask herself is not “do I feel lucky?”, I’m sure she does. The question is, “Arizona, or Washington?” Now, this is far more easy to answer than, “Mary Ann, or Ginger”. In fact, this could be her golden parachute.
Her tenure as governor has been kept alive by ongoing media support – from the Tucson dailies, to the Arizona Republic, and beyond. Some things, however, cannot be glossed over. The budget, for example, is a disaster waiting to explode. The state is still in deficit, and the problems have not been addressed directly. Money has been borrowed, swapped around, and otherwised used to stave off the inevitable. Revenues will not dramatically increase in the near future, so what will she do down the road?
Fortunately for the governor, this “Highway to Hell” has, for her, an exit to I-40 that leads to Washington, D.C. I suspect that she will take it. She has worked in Washington before as an Assistant Attorney General in the Clinton Department of Justice. Rahm Emanuel will be President Obama’s Chief of Staff. He too, served in the Clinton administration.
So, stay here and face the music, or jump to the “Big Show” in Washington? This is not much of a choice for a career politician.