An interesting statement today from an Obama adviser says that Bush-appointed Secretary of Defense Robert Gates might be held over into a possible Obama administration come January should he win. Gates has been given a lot of bipartisan credit for his work with the surge in Iraq and the war in general.
Story from Yahoo News:
WASHINGTON – A senior adviser to Sen. Barack Obama said Thursday that the Democrat might see Defense Secretary Robert Gates as a candidate to remain at the Pentagon if Obama wins the White House.
Without explicitly endorsing Gates for the job or predicting Obama’s selection, Richard Danzig told reporters that Gates has exhibited leadership qualities that an Obama administration would value.
Danzig, who served as Navy secretary in the Clinton administration and is a senior national security adviser to the Obama campaign, cited Gates’ pragmatic approach and his advocacy for closing the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects. He said Gates has been a good defense secretary.
“He’d be an even better one in an Obama administration,” Danzig said. “Why do I think that? Because many of the kinds of efforts he’s made are in tune with what we are trying to do.”
Danzig mentioned Gates’ push to increase U.S. forces in Afghanistan and to increase greatly the size of the Afghan national army. “These are things that Sen. Obama agrees with and I agree with.”
Danzig added that he has not discussed any individual candidates for defense secretary with Obama.
“These decisions are for later,” he said.
Danzig himself is often mentioned as a possible Obama choice for defense secretary.
Gates has drawn bipartisan praise for his work at the Pentagon, marked by better relations with the Congress and a perception of holding the military services more accountable for missteps.
Either a sincere gesture toward Gates or a political move designed to swing moderates concerned about the War over to Obama, you make the call.