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November 21st, 2008
07:53 PM ET

Obama's big guns

Barbara Starr
CNN Pentagon Correspondent

Barack Obama's potential national security team is looking like a galaxy of high power big star talent. Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State. Retired General Jim Jones as National Security Advisor. Retired Admiral Dennis Blair is rumored to be on tap for Director of National Intelligence–one of a handful of military officers who did a high level tour of duty at the CIA.

And of course there is growing buzz that Obama will ask Bob Gates to stay on as as Secretary of Defense.

But how can all these high powered egos work together? The answer is Obama will want them to...so they will. First up; Gates. He has been pressing for months for the State Department to contribute personnel and billions of dollars in aid for Iraq and Afghanistan. AND he wants the next secretary of state to try again to get NATO allies to send more troops to Afghanistan. Hillary Clinton's star power on the world stage may be the ticket to make that happen.

But the real power broker may be this man–retired Marine Corps four star General James Jones–a former Middle East advisor, and a man with decades of military experience. His job: make sure President Obama gets all the best advice–but also make sure–the team plays together nicely.

So what about two other key players: Admiral Mike Mullen chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and General David Petraeus, now head of Central Command and the currently serving four star overseas military operations in the Middle East. Both men are used to having a direct line to President Bush–everyone is watching to see if it will be the same rules of the road in the Obama White House.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Barbara Starr • Raw Politics
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    WOW! This is so very reminiscent of JFK's selection of the "best and the brightest" in the selection of his cabinet.

    Listen up world .... The America of balanced intelligent leadership is back after eight very very very long years of anti-intellectual ignorance and stupidity.

    The only thing left to do now is to get Sarah Palin some kind of Vanna White job on some game show and then forget about her and her republican 'base'.

    November 22, 2008 at 1:02 pm |
  2. Alan

    I love Obama's bi-partisan attitude, but he is going to have to ease up on his overwelcoming position appointments. He has placed people in positions according to popularity and success, but he needs to take authoritative charge if so many prominent people are going to work under the same umbrella. Newly appointed people must not come into office confusing a welcoming attitude for a spineless one.

    Alan in San Diego, CA

    November 21, 2008 at 7:10 pm |
  3. Joanne, Solvay, NY

    President elect Obama is clearly a deep thinker. The mega-qualified cabinet will indeed make history. I have no doubt that any ego scrambling will be handled by managed by Gates.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:53 pm |
  4. Joanne in Ontario Canada

    Barack Obama is a brilliant and honest man. Americans are indeed safe with Obama @ the helm.

    November 21, 2008 at 6:36 pm |