TMRO's 2010 'Man' Of The Year: Mary Fallin
Has won every race she's entered.
Mary Fallin's historic achievement in being elected Oklahoma's first female governor doesn't surprise her longtime supporters.
It does seem to baffle her detractors, who have delighted in covering her in derogatory adjectives such as "witless" and "empty dress."
Fallin's entry into politics came in 1990, when, as a housewife and with a name totally unknown to those in politics, she sought a seat in the State House. One of those who encouraged Fallin, and worked to help her, was the late Herb Johnson, executive director of Oklahomans For The Right To Work and one of the most influential men in Oklahoma politics that most people never heard of. (He later became Senator Jim Inhofe's chief of staff and died in Washington of a heart attack.)
Johnson said at the time that Fallin was the "future of the Republican Party." He was a prophet.
Fallin parlayed her House service into three terms as lieutenant governor, and then to the 5th District congressional seat she held for four years. She was the first woman to hold the No. 2 spot in state government and the first woman to hold a congressional seat since 1921.
In the 2010 governor's race, she faced a formidable Democrat, Lt. Governor Jari Askins, and won with 60 percent of the vote.
Fallin's political accomplishments are measurable.
Her challenge now is to match those accompishments with her performance as the state's chief executive. Thus far, in selecting her cabinet choices and naming staff members, she's demonstrated she's a lot smarter than her detractors would have you believe.