Keeping Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the helm would help give Obama political cover for a reduction of U.S. forces in Iraq,I like President Elect Obama more and more ..... (don't worry, it's all relative).
Democratic officials said they see new signs that President-elect Barack Obama will ask Defense Secretary Robert Gates to stay in his post.
If Gates stays, no reconfirmation hearing would be needed, officials said.
Keeping Gates at the helm would help give Obama political cover for a gradual reduction of U.S. forces in Iraq and would enhance his relationship with Gen. David Petraeus, the former U.S. commander in Iraq and now the head of the U.S. Central Command, which includes Iraq and Afghanistan.
The officials said emissaries of the presidential transition have talked to Gates about very detailed issues like who should be the assistant secretaries, the Pentagon’s structure and his philosophy of how he runs the operation.
Ed at HotAir and John at PowerLine make two very good points. First Ed.
Keeping Gates is a wise choice, and sends some important signals to the DoD and to our military allies. Rather than expecting wholesale Change, they can expect continuity in important areas, especially strategically in the current war theaters in Iraq and Afghanistan. Politico notes that keeping Gates may help keep David Petraeus happy and on the job — critical to Obama in the first few months of his administration as he gets up to speed on military matters.Now John.
I think that Obama is similar to Bill Clinton in one important respect. Clinton famously wanted to be President not because there was anything in particular he wanted to do, but because he craved the status of being President. In Clinton's case, this seems to have been due to an insatiable need for approval and affection. Obama, likewise, wants to be President not in order to do anything, but because he believes that for Barack Obama to be President is an end in itself. In Obama's case, this view is due not to a psychological craving, but rather to the historical importance of being the first African-American President.Interesting to watch. Where is Code Pink in all this ..........
If I'm right about that, it makes sense for Obama to be reasonably moderate. He makes history simply by being a President with dark skin; what he desperately wants to avoid is for his Presidency to be seen as a disaster or a fiasco. Thus his sudden moderation on foreign policy: Obama is smart enough to understand that it is always possible for things to go wrong, but if the public perceives that an international setback is due to weakness, the President is in trouble. He's Jimmy Carter. If a President is perceived as tough on foreign policy and something goes wrong, voters will say that they're glad we have a hard guy in the White House.