Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Obama's National Security Team

From the latest Obama e-mail asking for money(come on guys!):
Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator from New York and former First Lady, will serve as Secretary of State.

Secretary Robert Gates, the current Secretary of Defense, will continue to serve in that role.

Eric Holder, former Deputy Attorney General and a former United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, will serve as Attorney General.

Janet Napolitano, Governor and former U.S. Attorney for Arizona, will serve as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Dr. Susan E. Rice, a Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Obama for America campaign, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, will serve as Ambassador to the United Nations.

General Jim Jones, USMC (Ret), former Allied Commander, Europe, and Commander of the United States European Command, will serve as National Security Advisor.

I'm fairly happy about all those picks. There are some concerns among Dems about taking Napolitano out of Arizona is going to turn it into some Wingnut Nirvana, but I don't live there, so I have trouble caring about that angle... she seems like she's really competent, and I'd like to see her as a Senator from Arizona after a stint in the Cabinent. Arguably she could accomplish that from the Governor's chair... but an economic downturn is probably the worst time to be a Governor, since it means budget cuts. Get out while the gettin's good!

Gates staying on seems like a smart move, because apparently the military brass really likes him, and he will give bipartisan cover for the imminent withdrawal from Iraq... also, it's probably a good time to have some stability at the Department of Defense. One of the major drawbacks, that Gates might keep all of his deputies and thus lock out Obama people seems not to be a major issue. It looks like a lot of them are leaving, so there should be plenty of room.

Susan Rice is an interesting progressive voice in foreign policy, and a darling of the left, but her resume is somewhat thin, so I'd guess UN Ambassador (elevated to a Cabinet position) is a good spot for the time being.

I haven't given much thought to either Holder or Jones... Holder's involvement in the Marc Rich pardon doesn't really bother me, and they both seem eminently qualified for their posts.

Neither Gates (because he already has the job) nor Jones(nature of the post) need Senate confirmation, but all the others do.