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Obama Victory May Be Bittersweet for Napolitano’s Staff

Apologies for continuing to harp on the possible appointment of Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano to homeland security chief, but the implications for my home state are really quite huge.

One segment of Democrats in Arizona may have been privately torn about the prospects of and Obama presidency — those working in Napolitano’s staff in the governor’s office and state agencies.

The Arizona Republic takes a look at the likely impact on the political implications of Napolitano’s departure for the state:

Napolitano’s departure, if it occurs, would be a blow to Democrats in the Republican-led Legislature because they would lose an important ally on spending and other issues. Napolitano has set veto records for Arizona governors.

Brewer, on the other hand, could be expected to be much more in sync with Republican lawmakers.

The 64-year-old Brewer is regarded as a Republican Party stalwart with strong ties to the business-oriented faction of the party[...]

Napolitano has been governor since 2003 and few political appointees remain from previous Republican administrations. [Emphasis added.]

Think about it. You’re a Democrat, so in your heart of hearts you likely believe that President-elect Barack Obama is the man for the job — you’re certainly not going to vote for McCain. But if Obama wins, he’s probably going to bring your boss, Napolitano, to Washington with him, a Republican will take over and you will almost certainly lose your job.

Oh, and the economy is tanking and unemployment is going through the roof.

And, for good measure, the Republicans who are now totally in control of the state government are not exactly enthusiastic about expanding the social safety net.

Most of Napolitano’s aides and political appointees will easily find work in the private sector — some may even go to Washington, too — and much of the staff are career bureaucrats who will keep their jobs under the new government.

A spokesman for the Arizona Department of Administration declined to speculate how many people may lose their jobs under a new administration or how far down the chain Brewer’s house-cleaning might go.

Fortunately, anybody who may be losing their job must have known for a long time that this was coming, and hopefully prepared accordingly.

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