And it’s not just any version of Arizona Statehood Day — it’s the centennial. Arizona, b. 1912. Still younger than Ronald Reagan.
As I’ve said, I’ve always been proud of my native state’s contributions to national politics; we’ve mostly been a dinky little state, but we’ve had a lot of notable political figures. Let’s see:
1. Barry Goldwater, 1964 Republican presidential nominee and conservative icon.
2. John McCain, 2008 Republican presidential nominee.
3. William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
4. Sandra Day O’Connor, Supreme Court Justice.
5. Mo Udall, presidential candidate, longtime Member of the House and key House reformer; considered one of the funniest politicians of the 20th century.
6. Bruce Babbitt, presidential candidate and cabinet Secretary.
7. John Rhodes, House Minority Leader.
8. John Kyl, Senator Minority Whip.
9. Stewart Udall, reforming Member of the House and cabinet Secretary.
10. Ernest McFarland, briefly Majority Leader of the Senate.
11. Carl Hayden, who set Congressional longevity records.
12. Janet Napolitano, cabinet Secretary.
And then there’s Gabby Giffords, too. Not bad!
We’ve also had the most famous sheriff in the country for some time now. Granted, some of us aren’t exactly bragging about him, but still — if I’m listing famous, successful pols, I can’t totally ignore him.
Granted, we also have had two relatively recent governors who were booted before the end of their terms (Evan Meacham and Fife Symington), as well as two of the Keating Five, and Charles Keating himself.
At any rate: Happy Birthday Arizona. Here’s wishing you another 100 years and more of Grand Canyon greatness.
[Cross-posted at A plain blog about politics]