Penny Pritzker’s Out of the Running for Commerce Secretary, Napolitano Looks Good for Homeland Security

The number of potential female cabinet appointees drops from three to two.

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Well, there WERE three women prominently mentioned as Obama cabinet appointees until today. In one of the more bizarre episodes surrounding President-elect Obama's picks, one of his closest aides and top confidantes from way back, Penny Pritzker, pulled her own name out of the running for Commerce Secretary before the position had been officially offered:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker said on Thursday she was not a candidate to serve as commerce secretary in President-Barack Obama's administration.

"Speculation has grown that I am a candidate for Secretary of Commerce. I am not. I think I can best serve our nation in my current capacity: building businesses, creating jobs and working to strengthen our economy," Pritzker said in a statement.

CNN had reported on Wednesday that Pritzker, a billionaire heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune and a close Obama ally, was his pick for commerce but later media reports said she feared her business dealings could complicate the confirmation process.

Business dealings certainly have not caused the Clintons to hesitate their push for Obama to nominate Sen. Clinton as Secretary of State. Still in the running also is tough-talking Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (D). According to The Washington Post:

Napolitano (D), a border-state governor whose handling of immigration and homeland security issues brought her accolades from fellow governors, (as) President-elect Barack Obama's choice to serve as secretary of homeland security, Democratic sources said yesterday.

Napolitano, 50, was an early supporter of Obama and was the only sitting governor and current elected official tapped to serve on his 12-member transition advisory board.

I have had the pleasure of interviewing Gov. Napolitano many times and she is scary smart and one tough person. I'd always wished she'd run for president herself, but that was not to be. Meanwhile DailyKos.com wishes Napolitano would remain in her home state and take on John McCain when his term ends, citing a poll the website sponsored last month:

If the 2010 election for U.S. Senate were held today for whom would you vote for if the choices were between Janet Napolitano the Democrat and John McCain the Republican?

McCain (R) 45 Napolitano (D) 53

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