Santa Fe, N.M — In her spacious office on the top floor of the “Roundhouse,” as the state capitol is called, Governor Susana Martinez greets a group of schoolchildren. Excitedly, they have their picture taken with her. As they leave, she calls out to them, “Be good!” One of the teachers answers, “You too!” She says, “I’m trying my best, every day.” After they leave, the governor says how enjoyable it is to meet and mingle with happy schoolchildren: It’s one of the nicest parts of her job. In her former job, as a district attorney, she often met with children who were far from happy: They were victims of crime. She has seen a lot in her career, as prosecutors and other law-enforcement people tend to.
Susana Martinez was elected governor of New Mexico in 2010. For those keeping score, she is the first Hispanic woman to be the governor of any state. A conservative Republican, she is a star of her party, nationally. There is even talk that she should be the vice-presidential nominee this year. She has said, firmly, that she wouldn’t accept the position: She is committed to her state and her term. Besides which, you could say, it’s way too early for Martinez to be on a national ticket: She has had just a year as governor. Still, you can forgive Republicans their excitement over this woman, whose gifts and appeal are undeniable.
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