Why Janet Napolitano can't be Vice President.

Several times today, CNN commentators have suggested that Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona is a contender for the Democratic vice-presidental nomination this year. What? I like Napolitano. I voted for Napolitanto. I campaigned for Napolitano. Still, I can give you two big reasons she isn't going to run for Vice-President:

First reason: Arizona doesn't have a lieutenant governor. If the current governor resigns, she gets replaced by the Secretary of State. The current Secretary of State is Republican Jan Brewer. I don't think Napolitano (or the Democratic Party leadership) wants to turn the governor's mansion over to the Republicans so soon after retaking it -- Napolitano is the first Democratic governor of the state since Bruce Babbit left in 1986, and getting her elected required the Arizona Democratic Party to go all out in 2002 in a way it never had before.

Second reason: Janet Napolitano is a 46-year old woman with a bad haircut who's never been married. You know where the Republicans are going to go with that bit of trivia, don't you? I can't imagine John Kerry handing the Republicans such an obvious target during the Year of the Culture Wars.

I'm having trouble believing any Democratic insiders would be seriously suggesting Napolitano as a candidate, or even whispering it to reporters. (If they wanted to point out women qualified to be Vice President, there are more experienced choices in Congress.) I suspect this rumour is either some weird delusion originating from within CNN, or an image-building exercise started by the Governor's own people.

Posted at 11:35:34 PM EST on 03 March 2004 from Trenton, MI