So, who for SECNAV? Some funny - seriously, funny - names have been floated out there; from the "this will be fun re-run" of Sen. (nee SECNAV) Webb (D-VA), to the "this would be an unmitigated nightmare and retention issue" of Rep. (nee RADM) Sestak (D-PA), to the "that might be an interesting and almost inspired pick" of Robert Work.
Still, nothing that raises and eyebrow and a "hmmmmm."
Drum-roll please .....
Some top retired military leaders and some Democrats in Congress are backing William White, chief operating officer of the Intrepid Museum Foundation, to be the next secretary of the Navy -Wait for it.
- a move that would put the first openly gay person at the top of one of the services.Snerk. I can't stand agenda politics.
Being that I have to do this standard disclaimer because the Radical Pink always leave drive-by trollish comments here without reading the whole post + DADT tag whenever this comes up - CDR Salamander actually has no problem with openly gay people serving. Never have. Repeal DADT - don't care. Now, back to bid'ness.
I am sure that Bill is a great and talented bloke; but seriously - at this stage of the game I don't think we can afford a history-museum guy (BTW, who can tell the best joke about the Obama Administration's plan for the military with the pic that came with the story?).
He does have a lot of support,
"He would be fabulous," said retired Gen. Hugh Shelton, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1997 to 2001, pointing to Mr. White's extensive background as a fundraiser for veterans' and military causes.... err that should be phenomenal, not fabulous (sorry, can't help myself - I only kid).
Sounds like a great VA guy perhaps - but in the procurement and strategic mess the Navy is in right now, perhaps not the right guy.
"He's very capable," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat, whose district includes the Intrepid Museum, a retired aircraft carrier berthed on the Hudson River in New York City.YIKES! Don't let Rep Nadler write my FITREP!
In summary, White sounds like a great guy, just not who we need for the job. That leaves, of the names floated, Webb or Work. I'd take Webb just for the fireworks and the office pool on how long it will be until he quits. I wonder if he would take it if offered? After all, the whole reason that he ran for the Senate - that Iraq was a lost cause and we need to retreat - has been proven false. He could use the challenge - but once in the Senate, it takes a lot for someone to want to leave. I doubt he wants it unless he is already sick of the Senate.
That leaves Work. You can read his stuff on Sea Basing, LCS, Surface Combatants, Fleet Constitution, Technology, and Strategy at the links - one nit-pic, I don't care much for his constant reference to "naval battle network". Solid pic compared to the others - if he wants the job.
UPDATE: RUMINT, d@mn good RUMINT BTW, has it being none of the above - but one that was in the rumor mill. I will let the Obama administration make the announcement official - but he is a sharp individual with a close relationship with the President-elect. He knows the Navy and has some energy behind him as well. He also seems to be known as an, ahem, @55h0le by many.
Good. We need one of those. If it is him, we should wish him well and give him plenty of running room, and yes - he makes me go "hmmmmmm," in a good way.
UPDATE II - Electric Boogaloo:In comments, Galrahn outs my RUMINT - and did so earlier this week (not my fault - my bandwidth and computer time ain't what it should be - there, excuse of the day). Former Navy Aviator and one term State Senator from Texas, and Friend of Obama (FOO) - Juan Garcia. His WIKI bit is a good enough backgrounder - if you want to get depressed though, read the comments over at Gal's. I will remain an optimist, because I am all Hopey and Changey ... but I will miss SECNAV Winter. If Garcia is a big bud of Wesley Clark though - I am just going to get drunk. Gal, if Garcia is a dog's breakfast this time next year then I will send you a bottle of single malt or something from the Bourbon Trail - your choice.