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Who Should be Obama’s Secretary of Defense

Matthew Avitabile Posted by Matthew Avitabile

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There’s been a lot of talk about who Barack Obama will choose to become his next Secretary of State. It may be a good idea for him to concentrate on his Secretary of Defense, too. Obama has talked about bipartisanship a great deal during the campaign, so this is his chance to demonstrate it.

Robert Gates has been a non-partisan, steady hand at the Pentagon since the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld. He has overseen the surge strategy that is decimating al Qaeda in Iraq and has been a very pragmatic secretary.

There are other candidates for the job, to be sure. However, it is up to Obama to blend both competency and bipartisanship. If Gates or someone similar is not named, then Obama’s campaign promises are nil.

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Technorati Tags: al Qaeda, Barack Obama, Cabinet, Defense Department, foreign policy, Iraq, Middle-East, military, Obama, Pentagon, President Bush, President Obama, Robert Gates

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  1. 3 Responses to “Who Should be Obama’s Secretary of Defense”

  2. By Scott Bannon | Reply to article

    I’m not sure what you mean by “If Gates or someone similar is not named, then Obama’s campaign promises are nil.”

    Are you suggesting that if Obama picked someone infinitely more qualified, but who happened to be highly partisan then that would be wrong?

    I would hope that the most qualified man (or woman) for the job is the only criteria used in making posting picks.

    Forget party, race, gender, religion, campaign contributions… for once wouldn’t it be nice to see an administration full of the most qualified people that our President could select from?

    It’s folks of all types demanding that their group be represented in post positions–and CIC’s who capitulate–that constantly screws up administration after administration.

    Personally, I’d like to sit back and watch while the positions get filled, and then instead of asking are there enough Latinos/women/republicans/etc. ask is each individual picked the best honest fit for the job.

    Matthew Avitabile reply on November 14th, 2008 5:40 pm:

    I meant that someone who was both qualified and bipartisan should fill the role. Gates has both.

    Scott Bannon

    Scott Bannon reply on November 14th, 2008 6:41 pm:

    But isn’t that sort of hand-tying a President and possibly preventing the most qualified person from being selected?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against posts being filled by all types of people with all types of political leanings. In fact, I believe if you truly set the single standard of picking the most qualified people for positions then that’s exactly what you’ll end up with.

    My questioning is on implying that if the post isn’t filled by someone bipartisan then Obama’s campaign promises would be nil.

    That sounds like you may have some line in the sand regarding specific positions and who gets appointed to them based on partisanship.

    As I recall Obama stated he’d have a diverse cabinet that represented all of America, but made no specific promises regarding specific positions that I’m aware of.

    Gates may well be the right person for the job, but he also may not be depending upon what role the SoD will need to fill under Obama’s lead. But either way, I have doubts that political leanings will carry much weight in that decision once it’s made. Then again, I’m trying to be an optimist these days.

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