An Arizonan has been summoned to Washington. Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano has been chosen by President-elect Barack Obama as the nation’s next director of the Department of Homeland Security, the post-Sept. 11 bureaucracy charged, simply, with protecting America from all threats natural and man-made.

What a task. Regardless if the threat comes from hurricane or terrorist, Homeland Security is supposed to take care of us, from the blue-shirted Transportation Security Administration to camo-clad members of the National Guard.

From a national perspective, the governor’s greatest strength may be the experience and knowledge she’s gained from working in a border state. One of the few real disappointments in this presidential campaign was the lack of conversation about illegal immigration, and our relationships with Latin America. As you travel farther from the border, people don’t know what’s happening in Mexico, with drug lords battling, police authority threatened and, every day, people making their way illegally into America. Napolitano knows it. She’ll be in a real position to do something about it.

Homeland Security is, fundamentally, an administrative position, and Napolitano certainly has relevant experience in running agencies of government. Arizonans can judge how well she’s led. Is she about to become a national leader? Everyone’s buzzing about Obama, and what his leadership style might be. Is he a liberal Ronald Reagan, surrounding himself with good people and getting out of their way? Or is he George Bush, listening to but a few advisers, then deciding? Obama’s style shall determine the influence of Napolitano, Hillary Clinton and the rest.

Back home, the buzz is even more intense about a new governor, and a Republican at that, Secretary of State Jan Brewer. She’ll be working with a Republican-majority Legislature on daunting issues.

Republican Sen.-elect Al Melvin, for one, is excited by the prospect of a change in the capital.

“I’d love to have a Republican governor,” Melvin said after his District 26 election. “I’d love to see Janet Napolitano be offered and accept something in Washington, which would allow Jan Brewer to move up.”

If Napolitano is confirmed and things move as identified, Brewer is about to move up. Her challenges may not be on the scale of those Obama faces, but they’re huge nonetheless. May they all govern well.

The Explorer is pleased to join with the Town of Oro Valley and the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce in the Shop OV promotion. The effort is intended to support Oro Valley businesses, foremost. It is also helping citizens connect their buying decisions to the sales tax revenue that supports the government services we all demand.

This newspaper is not being exclusionary — we support Shop Marana, and Shop Northwest Tucson, if anyone asks. Local shopping bolsters local business, and in turn funds local government. It’s that simple. Your dollars turn over, and over.

This holiday shopping season may be more critical to business than any since 2001, and may be more important than any in decades. Shop OV makes the point that we all have a stake in its outcome.

The Town of Oro Valley lights its Christmas tree in a Friday night celebration. Marana does the same Saturday. There is music and entertainment throughout the Northwest. Much ado, this holiday. Partake, and enjoy.

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