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Is Obama Considering Keeping On Robert Gates?

TimesUK: In defiance of traditional party labels, Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, may ask the defence secretary of President Geor


In defiance of traditional party labels, Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, may ask the defence secretary of President George W Bush to stay on if he wins the White House.

Obama's top foreign policy and national security advisers are pressing the case for keeping Robert Gates at the Pentagon after he won widespread praise for his performance. The move would be in keeping with Obama's desire to appoint a cabinet of all the talents.

After appealing for unity with former rival Hillary Clinton and her supporters and big donors last week, Obama, 46, is turning his attention to wooing Republicans and independent voters who may be concerned that he lacks the experience to be trusted with America's defence.

Richard Danzig, an adviser to Obama on national security and a former navy secretary, said: "My personal position is Gates is a very good secretary of defence and would be an even better one in an Obama administration."

Really, he's done such a great job? How's Iraq and Afghanistan working for you? And we've got Iran on a backburner. Is that the definition of a successful Defense Secretary? Let's not forget how thrilled we all were with his nomination to begin with.

And I've heard some say that this is a way to take some of the wind out of the GOP sails by having a Republican at Defense, but did that keep the GOP from going after Bill Clinton with William Cohen in his Cabinet? I didn't think so. Frankly, considering how badly they've screwed up over the last 8 years, I'd think keeping a Republican as far away from the Pentagon would actually be a much smarter tactic.

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