Report: Secretary Napolitano mulling a 2016 run?

posted at 6:21 pm on February 4, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Hillary Clinton’s answers on her future plans and potential presidential ambitions may be evolving, but even if she decides not to run, the Democrats may be looking for a lady to possibly lead the party, the better to keep the dynamism rolling and keep up this war-on-women meme of which they’re so fond. Other than Clinton and Biden, of course, Democrats have been expressing worries that their post-Obama bench might be looking a little thin in that area; ergo, enter… er… Janet Napolitano?

The Washington Post reports that the current Secretary of Homeland Security is actively keeping a weather eye on her options for a 2016 bid, should the obvious contenders bow out of the race:

Napolitano is quietly making it known that she is considering the race, and there is reason to take her seriously. …

While [governor] in Arizona, she was criticized for not being aggressive enough in dealing with the influx of illegal immigrants. But her more recent job gives her an opportunity to change that image. This week, for instance, finds her on a high-profile tour of the southwest border, where she will highlight the stepped-up resources that the Obama administration has been devoting to reducing the flow of illegal entrants to this country. …

Her current job compounds that difficulty. The fact is, most Americans don’t hear all that much about the Homeland Security Department unless something has gone wrong.

True — her national profile is relatively pretty low, but she has already spent time as an arguably successful state executive. Could she really be looking to use the immigration debate as an opportunity to put herself at the “forefront of an issue–and a constituency” that the Democrats will surely be trying to use to their advantage come 2016? I haven’t seen that much of her wading into the debate so far, but perhaps her decision to stay in Obama’s cabinet for a second term means that she thinks it’s her best possible platform from which to promote herself, or at least keep tabs on the situation?

I know, I know — it’s all still so very far away, which is why, on the other side of the partisan coin, Gov. Bobby Jindal (considered an actively aspiring GOP candidate himself) has been making the vociferous point that the GOP needs to take this time to start making a better case for their ideas over their particular candidates:

“Anybody on the Republican side even thinking or talking about running for president in 2016, I’ve said, needs to get their head examined,” Jindal told “Fox and Friends.” “And the reason I say that is, we’ve lost two presidential elections in a row, we need to be winning the debate of ideas, then we’ll win elections.” …

“We’re not winning the conversation, we’re not presenting our ideas, we’re not in that debate as well as we should be,” Jindal said. …

“The country doesn’t need four years of non-stop presidential — we just inaugurated a new term of this president’s second term,” Jindal said.

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