Quick Note on Susana Martinez

by Reihan Salam

The Economist has a short piece on Susana Martinez, the Republican governor of New Mexico, and her modest political success:

Ms Martinez has a wonkish side. The state’s small budget is unusual in having turned into surplus. And she cares about education, a sore spot for the state. One of her few successes to date has been a new education policy, which grades schools from A to F. Ms Martinez will now fight for other reforms considered conservative, eventually including proper evaluations for teachers. And this, she says, is the way to grab Hispanics: “Latinos care about education, yes, so we need reform, not just money.”

And so, conservatively, she moves on, from the environment to lower, simpler taxes and the rest.

One gets the strong impression that Martinez intends to serve a full term as governor, i.e., that she will not accept the GOP’s vice presidential nomination. I kind of wish she had entered the political fray earlier, just as it would have been nice if Jeb Bush had been elected governor of Florida in 1994. It could be that Martinez’s has fared well politically by not rocking the boat, in stark contrast to, say, Govs. Kasich and Scott in Ohio and Florida respectively. Perhaps there is something to be said for caution.