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Thread: Robert Gates staying on as Secretary of Defence?

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Robert Gates staying on as Secretary of Defence?

    Obama in talks with Gates on Pentagon role

    President-elect Barack Obama and Robert Gates are negotiating terms under which the defence secretary would remain as Pentagon chief in his administration, the Financial Times has learned.

    Mr Obama, through an intermediary, has approached Mr Gates, who has served as defence secretary under President George W. Bush since 2006, about accepting the position, which would place a respected Republican appointee in his cabinet.

    According to a source familiar with the situation, Mr Gates is seriously weighing the option. The two men are ironing out policy and personnel issues before a final offer could be made.

    Mr Gates, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency, has won bipartisan acclaim for his handling of the Pentagon since replacing Donald Rumsfeld in 2006.

    Democrats had speculated that Mr Obama might choose Mr Gates to assemble a “team of rivals”, mirroring the approach of Abraham Lincoln who appointed former rivals to his cabinet in 1861.

    Last weekend, Mr Obama told CBS television that he was reading about Lincoln, saying “there is a wisdom there and a humility about his approach to government,” and adding that he would appoint Republicans to his cabinet.

    The “team of rivals” approach has taken on more currency after reports that Mr Obama is considering his former Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for secretary of state.

    The Obama transition team declined to comment. Geoff Morrell, Pentagon press secretary, said he had “no knowledge” of any discussions, but pointed out that Mr Gates had never ruled out the possibility of staying.

    “He has been clear for months now that although his desire is to return home to the Pacific Northwest and retire from the government once again, he has never closed the door on continuing to serve if needed,” said Mr Morrell.

    The Obama camp has not been shy about expressing its admiration for Mr Gates. Richard Danzig, a top Obama adviser, said earlier this year that Mr Gates had been a good defence secretary, but would “an even better one in an Obama administration”.

    “He is clearly a guy who has repeatedly heeded the call to service,” added Mr Morrell. “Secretary Gates is an old-fashioned patriot. He is a throwback to the days of wise men who put service to country above almost all else.”

    One difference between Mr Obama and Mr Gates has been over Iraq. While Mr Obama has pledged to remove US troops within 16 months, Mr Gates has previously declined to endorse a timetable. This could become moot, however, after the US and Iraq this week signed a security pact that requires US troops to leave by 2012.

    Other candidates that have been previously mentioned include Chuck Hagel, the retiring Republican senator from Nebraska, Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democratic senator, John Hamre, head of the Center for International and Strategic Studies, and Mr Danzig himself. Many defence experts believe Mr Danzig would be appointed deputy to Mr Gates as a secretary-in-waiting.

    US allies have also praised Mr Gates. European officials privately say he is just as tough as Mr Rumsfeld, particularly on the issue of sending more troops to Afghanistan, but that his less abrasive manner in public is more effective.

    Eric Edelman, the number three Pentagon official, last week told reporters that Mr Gates had canvassed his serving officials to see how many would remain if asked by the new administration, adding that a “very high percentage of people” replied that they would be willing to stay.

    FT.com / World - Obama in talks with Gates on Pentagon role
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    uhhuh, and how does he feel about all the hideous policies going on in the name of defense? Raised any objections has he?

    Would someone tell Obama to please clean out the fridge, the shit in there is old and needs to go.

    NOW.
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    Gold Member ymeman's Avatar
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    troops leaving by 2012?

    how convennnnnient. sigh...

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    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    ^Negotiated by Bush, not Obama.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    This might not be a bad idea for Obama to leave Gates in as SOD. I mean, Gates is respected by Dems, Republicans, and people in the military. Plus, we've got two wars going on, so it might be a good idea to have some stability in place while you're changing administrations.

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    Elite Member Belinda's Avatar
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    I don't have a problem with Gates staying on for the time being, he and Obama have similiar views on Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Plus it gives Obama a Republican in his cabinet so the Republican's can bitch about something else but not about his SOD pick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Belindagogo View Post
    I don't have a problem with Gates staying on for the time being, he and Obama have similiar views on Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Plus it gives Obama a Republican in his cabinet so the Republican's can bitch about something else but not about his SOD pick.
    Exactly. Keeping Gates on for at least another year would be a show of bipartisanship on Obama's part. And having some stability when it comes to security/defense issues will put a lot of voters at peace.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    who cares about bipartisanship. Did the rethugs ever care? No.

    I wish they'd stop spouting that word. Don't bother with it. Ram your policies through.

    Rethugs will never give a rats ass about playing nice, so why bother.
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    Come on, Grimm. Play nice! Obama stayed classy throughout the campaign, so there's no point in getting ugly now. Leave that to Palin and her atrcious beehive hairdo!

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    No, it's just a matter of strategy. For the last 8 years, the Dems have blathered about "bipartisan" crap, and every time they reached across the aisle they got assfucked for it.
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    Elite Member cynic's Avatar
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    ...yeah, old Mr. Change sure is picking people who we've all seen before.....

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cynic View Post
    ...yeah, old Mr. Change sure is picking people who we've all seen before.....
    People keep making that point, but Obama never said that his 'change' was going to be bringing in all-Washington outsiders. Being a Washington outsider isn't always a good thing. Exhibit A: Sarah Palin.

    Plus, Bush had a habit of appointing people to top Cabinet positions, who were Washington outsiders and that usually didn't work well. Exhibit B: Mike Brown.

    Personally, I don't want Obama to fill his cabinet with old Clinton people. But it's hard to find too many Democrats who have been in Washington for a while who don't have ties to the Clintons.

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    Elite Member cynic's Avatar
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    ....yeah, he never gave too many specifics about what his "change" would entail.....now it looks like that was a good move......when they mention economy, he says environment.....when they say environment, he says economy......he seems like the "same ole, same ole" politician to me....

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    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cynic View Post
    ...yeah, old Mr. Change sure is picking people who we've all seen before.....
    Yeah, his "change" tag was just stupid to begin with. People acted like he could change all this stuff, when he can't. I guess they all seemed to forget that stuff has to be voted on first.

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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cynic View Post
    ...yeah, old Mr. Change sure is picking people who we've all seen before.....
    Yeah, it's very interesting.
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