Powered by WebAds

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Michele Flournoy decides she doesn't want to be Defense Secretary either

Michele Flournoy has decided that she doesn't want to be US Secretary of Defense either (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
But in a letter Tuesday to members of the CNAS board of directors, Flournoy said she would remain in her post at the think tank and asked Obama to take her out of consideration to be the next secretary of defense. Flournoy told the board members that family health considerations helped drive her decision and the fact that two of her children are leaving for college in the next two years.
"Last night I spoke with President Obama and removed myself from consideration due to family concerns," reads the letter. "After much agonizing, we decided that now was not the right time for me to reenter government. The good news is that you all are stuck with me for the indefinite future!"
The move means that only one of the three names rumored for the post remains under consideration: Ashton Carter, the former deputy secretary of defense. When Hagel was ousted Monday, speculation had immediately turned to Flournoy, Carter, and Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a former Army Ranger. But Reed took himself out of the running almost immediately after Hagel announced his resignation.
I wonder whether the history of Obama's Secretaries of Defense had any influence on Flournoy's decision. 
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Monday suggested Hagel had vented “frustration” to him over his treatment by the White House.
The steady stream of stories in recent weeks that suggested Hagel was having a difficult time penetrating the president’s inner circle carried echoes of Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, two past Defense secretaries who went on to write tell-all books critical of the president’s handling of defense policy.
Former Democratic aide Brent Budowsky said Democrats across the Capitol saw Hagel’s ouster as the latest example of “unprecedented” drama created by “too tight and too controlling of an inner circle.”
He noted that not only had each of the president’s previous Defense secretaries voiced concern over his Syria policy, so had former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“This is going to precipitate a very visible battle beginning today and going through the confirmation of his successor about what the policy should be, and highlight the long-term and chronic internal disagreement,” said Budowsky, who is a columnist for The Hill.
Other defense experts say Hagel was not particularly close with the president or members of his national security team. 
"He had no relationships that were already established within this administration," said a retired military officer with current policy experience in Washington, who wanted to speak on background. 
The retired officer noted that Hagel is also older than the president's closest advisers, such as Rice and chief of staff Denis McDonough. 
"The generational difference was a really difficult thing," he said.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home