(CNN) – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will name a "border czar" on Wednesday to help deal with the drug cartel violence that has exploded along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to several administration officials.
The officials said Napolitano will name Alan Bersin, a former Justice Department official, to the newly-created post.
The move comes on the eve of President Obama's first visit to Mexico since being sworn into office. He will be in Mexico on Thursday to meet with President Calderon on his way to Trinidad for the Summit of the Americas.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - In her first full week as the nation's homeland security secretary, Janet Napolitano got a full dose of the job's diverse responsibilities - responding to ice storms in the Midwest, dealing with Congress on budget matters and scrutinizing security plans for the Super Bowl.
During it all, she said, she tried to learn her way around Washington.
Napolitano, who stepped down as governor of Arizona to accept the job, said her routine includes morning security briefings followed by visits to Department of Homeland Security agencies and interviews with job candidates.
In addition, she called the governors of Arkansas, Missouri and Kentucky to make sure they were getting the help they needed to cope with ice storms, she said.
Napolitano described the ice storms as the "most pressing issue" during her first week in office.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell defended his recent off-microphone remark about Homeland Security Secretary-designate Janet Napolitano, calling the comment “100 percent true.”
While having a private conversation at the National Governor’s Association meeting in Philadelphia on Tuesday, an open microphone picked up Rendell labeling Gov. Napolitano, D-Arizona, as “perfect” for the cabinet position because she has no family, and the position requires a person with “no life.”
On Tuesday CNN’s Campbell Brown railed against the governor, commenting that it was a sexist statement that would have never been uttered had Napolitano been a man.
But the outspoken Pennsylvania Democrat shrugged off the criticism in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Sunday.
“What I said about Janet is true. I think she's the gold standard for governors. She works hard, she's dedicated, she's focused,” he said on Late Edition.
“Campbell Brown, who I love, as a person and respect as a newsperson, couldn't have been more wrong. She said that it was somehow sexist or a comment on single women. Let me tell you—If Janet Napolitano was Jim Napolitano and had no family, I would have said the exact same thing,” Rendell confidently stated.
Though Rendell claimed that he sent the Arizona governor a hand-written note apologizing for any discomfort he caused her, he strongly defended his controversial comment.
“Wolf, we've gotten really far off field in the way we cover news if that statement which is absolutely 100 percent true is construed as something. I would have said it about man or woman in similar position. It was meant to comment on how tough the job is and how great a choice Janet is,” Rendell told Blitzer.