Napolitano Not Losing Sleep Over 2016

But she thinks Arizona will be friendlier to Democrats in any case.

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Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano listens to a reporter's question at Ronald Reagan National Airport on Nov. 15, 2010.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano may indeed be quietly laying the ground for a 2016 presidential bid, but if she is, she's being very quiet about it. Speaking to reporters this morning at a press breakfast, Napolitano joked that her job is already too stressful without layering plans for a presidential bid on top of it.

"My plate is so full now that that kind of contemplation would be the kind of thing that would keep me up at night, and I lose enough sleep as it is," she said at a press breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. "So I'm fine with where we're at."

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Democratic Party.]

The question of a Napolitano presidential bid was spurred by a report in the Washington Post last month that the former Arizona governor is "quietly making it known that she is considering the race."

Her odds would be long: Even though she was elected governor of the Copper State twice, it's very hard, as the Post notes, to seek the Oval Office from the cabinet—especially when your job dictates that "most Americans don't hear all that much about the Homeland Security Department unless something has gone wrong." Nevertheless, if she did end up on the 2016 Democratic ticket (perhaps as a vice presidential candidate), she could help spur Arizona's long-predicted swing from the safe red column into the purple or even blue column. "The demographics of Arizona are changing very rapidly," she said when asked about the prospect of her home state voting for a Democratic presidential candidate. But she declined to say when it will happen. "I think it will be more purple over time," she said.

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