Yesterday, PolitickerAZ's Wally Edge posted a list of potential winners and losers in the fallout if, as rumored, Governor Napolitano accepts a Cabinet position in an potential Obama presidential administration.
I can't argue with his lists (his analysis, though brief, was pretty good), but his list of 'losers' was incomplete.
He missed the group that stands to lose the most - the people of Arizona.
Right now, Gov. Napolitano is all that stands between us and the loons of the Flat Earth Society, Arizona Chapter (aka - the Republican caucus in the lege).
If Napolitano steps down, Republican Secretary of State Jan Brewer ascends to the governor's office.
"Governor Jan Brewer" - God help us all.
This article from the Swing State Project about possible changes to the U.S. Senate after the fall elections got me to thinking.
[Lots of 'ifs' ahead, a sure sign of wild, unsupported speculation. What can I say? I'm bored. :) ]
If Obama wins in November, and John McCain decides that he is tired from his nearly 50 years of public service (military and political) and wants to spend some time with his friends and family and retires after the election (and rumors to that effect have surfaced before), depending on the timing, Gov. Napolitano could accept a job in D.C. *and* protect Arizona's citizens.
If McCain retires, Napolitano would get to appoint his successor. Under AZ law, that appointee must be a member of the same political party as McCain.
Jan Brewer is a Republican (in fact, she's a very partisan one, hence my trepidation at the thought of a Brewer governorship).
Hmm. What to do, what to do??
A possible solution could work like this -
McCain retires, Napolitano appoints Brewer, Napolitano accepts a Cabinet position, and the AZ governorship falls to the next highest-ranked elected statewide official -
Democratic Attorney General Terry Goddard.
- Governor Napolitano gets to go to D.C. and the people of Arizona are still protected from the loons.
- A strong Rep potential candidate for the 2010 race for governor is taken out of the picture.
- The presumptive Democratic nominee in 2010 gets to run as an incumbent.
- Brewer is young enough (early 60s, I think) and ambitious enough to take a shot at a full term in the Senate; this would give her a leg up on any other candidates, Dem or Rep. If Napolitano has any designs on that seat herself, appointing Brewer could make it tough for her to win the seat.
- It would really tick off the Republican leadership in the state lege. They'd still have a Democratic Governor standing in their way.
But wait, they're ticked off now, and that fact isn't really a 'downside.' :)
- Also, while it's been rumored in the past, there's no guarantees that McCain is going to retire if he loses in November, or that Brewer would accept an appointment to serve out his term.
Of course, this could all be moot if the Democrats can overcome McCain's presence on the ballot and win a majority in one or both chambers of the state lege.
Do your part to make an Arizonan U.S. Attorney General or Secretary of Homeland Security - volunteer to help your Democratic legislative candidates!
OK, boredom's over - later!