Almost as soon as the 2012 presidential election wrapped up, pundits and reporters began speculating about likely candidates for the White House in 2016. Among the names tossed around inside and outside the Beltway is Janet Napolitano, the current DHS Secretary. Sec. Napolitano may at first glance seem an unlikely choice for the presidency, but in fact, her past work as a federal prosecutor, a state attorney general, a two-time Arizona governor, and a DHS Secretary make her a strong candidate for the highest office in the land. I wrote about this issue in depth on Defense Media Network.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano for President? – Defense Media Network

It’s not even been a full month into the second term of the Obama Administration and people are already sizing up the prospects for who will be the president’s successor. This kind of talk is no surprise. Talk of presidential aspirants is a full time cottage industry of sorts, but not just inside the Capital Beltway. You’ll also find it in full swing in the feed stores in Iowa, diners in New Hampshire, and of course the blogosphere, cable television and pundit-driven social media. Names like Biden, Clinton, Rubio, Christie, and Ryan are already out there, with political people, fundraisers and handlers at the ready to help anyone of them make the big 2016 run, but another name has popped up recently that has caused a few wide-eyed glances – that of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.

For as much as people are surprised by her mention, they really shouldn’t be. When she was first tapped as DHS Secretary, her name was already on a number of reporters’ and political watchers’ lists as someone to watch for a future White House run. The former federal prosecutor, state attorney general and two-time governor of Arizona has a solid record to consider that makes her more than qualified. Add to that the fact that she is now the longest-tenured DHS Secretary the nation has ever had.

Where it was easy to pick on Barack Obama when he first ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004 – let alone president in 2008 – for his very, very thin legislative record, that criticism won’t be a problem for Napolitano if she decides to run for Senate (for John McCain’s Arizona Senate seat in 2014) or the White House in 2016. She has more than enough actions under her belt to fully arm her potential supporters as well as her critics.

Read the full article.

Rich Cooper blogs primarily on emergency preparedness and response, management issues related to the Department of Homeland Security, and the private sector’s role in homeland security. Read More