This bizarre tweet at about 10 am ET today from Reuters was the first hint that the Secretary of Homeland Security was even looking to parachute out of the Obama administration:
Where does a former Obama administration official go after retirement? Academia:
Janet Napolitano, the U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Arizona, is being named as the next president of the University of California system, in an unusual choice that brings a national-level politician to a position usually held by an academic. Her appointment also means the 10-campus system will be headed by a woman for the first time in its 145-year history.
Napolitano’s nomination by a committee of UC regents came after a secretive process that insiders said focused on her early as a high-profile, although untraditional, candidate who has led large public agencies and shown a strong interest in improving education.
She has? How — by having TSA grope students? Napolitano has spent the last four-plus years in national security. Prior to that, she governed Arizona, not California, for six years, and that came after four years as Attorney General. Before that she was a US Attorney, and Anita Hill’s lawyer. Her last interest in education came at her own graduation from University of Virginia School of Law.
What makes her the ideal candidate to run the UC system? Er … connections:
UC officials believe that her Cabinet experiences –- which include helping to lead responses to hurricanes and tornadoes and overseeing some anti-terrorism measures — will help UC administer its federal energy and nuclear weapons labs and aid its federally funded research in medicine and other areas.
“While some may consider her to be an unconventional choice, Secretary Napolitano is without a doubt the right person at the right time to lead this incredible university,” Sherry Lansing, the regent and former film industry executive who headed the search committee, said in a statement being released Friday. “She will bring fresh eyes and a new sensibility — not only to UC, but to all of California. She will stand as a vigorous advocate for faculty, students and staff at a time when great changes in our state, and across the globe, are presenting as many opportunities as challenges.”
In other words, Napolitano is cashing in — but instead of doing so in the private sector, she’s doing so in the public sector. Hey, at least they’re honest about it.
This sets up a big headache for the Obama administration. They will have to choose a replacement soon, and one that can navigate a Senate confirmation hearing while avoiding topics like the NSA and the lack of interest in enforcing the border-security provisions of the Senate’s immigration-reform bill. The White House would be smart to look for a border-state replacement for Napolitano, perhaps a Senator who could get a breezy confirmation. Tom Udall, another former AG in New Mexico, might not be a bad choice in terms of the politics for Barack Obama, although it could put the seat at risk two years earlier than necessary.
Update: National Journal’s Matt Berman offers a few more potential candidates:
In the run-up to the 2012 election, National Journalnamed New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Bill Bratton, and retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen as possible successors for Napolitano at Homeland Security if she were to step down.
Allen might get the easiest ride of the three.
OK, so don’t be concerned about Janet. No-sir-wree-buddy. She’s going to California and there she will be up amongst friends and folks of like lifestyles. I mean we all know CA is full of lezbos and homos and the government is packed full of liberals that are doing their very best to bankrupt the State (and they are soooooo close it’s all ready a done deal).
I’m supposing she has fulfilled the duties that Obama needed her to do. She has made this Country so secure on our borders that it will take a lot of effort for anyone to get across our borders. She played her part and did as her master commanded.
Well Janet I do hope you find things to your liking out there in California. I hope you can fall right in line with the ‘brains’ you’ll be contending with. After all, you have sooooo much in common with the people you’re going to be working with. All those men and women who have all them fancy degrees and letters behind their names. I’m sure you’re going to do fine. Well, if all else fails you can always call up ole Barry and get his advice. I mean he’s been serving as the President of the USA for 5 years now and he doesn’t know a thing about what he’s doing. Remember Janet, when you don’t know what you need to be doing, take a vacation. That’s what Barry and Mooochell do.