Wherein Lies the Greatness of Janet Napolitano?

A mostly political weblog.
Jan. 4 2010 3:06 PM

Wherein Lies the Greatness of Janet Napolitano?

She gave an awful public performance in the wake of the Flt. 253 terror incident--assuring air travelers that "the system worked" when the one obvious thing was that for whatever reason the system didn't work, as President Obama acknowledged a few days later. She then seems to have panicked and pressed the "Friends, Save Me" button.   David Broder produced an unreal Napolitano-for-President column .  Maureen Dowd conducted a rare, non-ironic positive interview , defending Napolitano on the grounds that "Robert Gibbs said the same." Neither gave any particular reason why we should care whether Napolitano stays or goes. Sunday-morning Senators from both parties rallied around. ... From out here in California, this rallying-around by virtually the entire city of Washington, D.C., looks bizarre. What is there that's so golden about a seemingly bland centrist governor from Arizona?  Is she provocative and surprisingly candid, like former Arizona governor Bruce Babbit? No, she's mind-numbingly cautious. She has a "good skill set," volunteers ex-Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff. To what great end has it been employed? What difficult (or easy) reform has she accomplished? Aren't there a lot of people in the country with good skill sets? It's not like this was her first  public screw-up ....

Maybe a reader can help solve the mystery for those of us who are out of the loop. Does she give great parties? Is it that DHS has a highly effective, overactive P.R. person? Or does America's bureaucratic capital simply overvalue those whose first instinct is to defend their bureaucracy? ...  12:45 P.M.

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