Most Americans got their first prolonged look at Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, last weekend. After a passenger on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam ignited a concealed fuse as the plane approached Detroit for a landing, apparently intending to blow it up and kill all aboard, it fell to Napolitano to take charge of the federal response.
It came as no surprise to anyone who knows her that Napolitano handled the incident and its aftermath with aplomb. In the years I have known her, she has managed every challenge that has come her way with the same calm command that she showed in this instance. If there is anyone in the administration who embodies President Obama’s preference for quiet competence with “no drama,” it is Janet Napolitano.