Great news for Janet Napolitano on her 51st birthday. As she prepares to bail out on Arizona and its huge budget deficit, Arizonans give her 81 percent approval for her job performance.
The definition of a “teflon” politician is one to whom bad news never sticks. Somehow the Governor received credit for a good economy she had nothing to do with, but is not blamed for a bad economy. The one thing she influenced — state spending — rose dramatically, leading to our current budget crisis. But when you spend lots of taxpayer money, you also build powerful levels of support among various constituencies who benefit.
CPS is still a mess. Our kids are not getting a substantially better education. The Governor is pulling money out of vital transportation projects to cover her deficit. The Rainy Day fund is gone. And 81 percent of Arizonans think the Governor is doing an “excellent” or “good” job.
At this point, it appears no facts will change the opinion of most Arizonans about the legacy of Janet Napolitano. So the best thing Republicans can do is wish her well in Washington, and hope she can maintain those high approval ratings by helping keep the country safe for the next four years.
The good news for incoming Governor Jan Brewer is that we tend to like our incumbent Governors, unless they have been or are about to be indicted. Republican Jane Hull, who like Brewer was promoted from Secretary of State, received 61 percent of the vote. Democrat Bruce Babbitt, also promoted to Governor, received 62.5 percent of the vote.
Now, since it is also my birthday today, a quick point of personal privilege. Given our state’s history of re-electing Governors by overwhelming margins, given the incredible national Democratic landslide of 2006, and given the reminder in today’s Republic that Napolitano had an approval rating of 72 percent in June 2006, “six months before she was re-elected,” I’m trying to figure out how we held her to 62 percent of the vote in the 2006 election. Somehow, without enough money to communicate even once with every voter in the state, we persuaded 550,000 plus Arizonans — including at least 150,000 voters who thought Napolitano was doing a great job — to vote for a political newcomer.
Of course winning would have been better. And I doubt Obama would have appointed me to anything.

1 Comment

  1. Happy Birthday, Len!
    With Janet at the helm of Homeland “Security” maybe we can issue driver’s licenses to all of the illegal immigrants in the country instead of just those in AZ. Maybe we can do nothing to secure the borders of the entire nation–goodbye Coast Guard. Maybe we can find ways to spend money this country does not have to . . . Oh wait, we’re already doing that!
    Let’s just pray that God intervenes in this nation because Obama/Clinton/Napolitano, et. al. are a very scary combination.
    Paula Farris


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