Hillary Touted to Replace Gates at Pentagon

Tuesday, 17 Aug 2010 02:07 PM

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There is growing speculation that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will replace Robert Gates at the Pentagon when he steps down sometime early next year.

“It would be a mistake to wait until January 2012 [to leave],” Gates told Foreign Policy magazine, explaining why he is targeting 2011 for his retirement. “This is not the kind of job you want to fill in the spring of an election year.”

Clinton has won praise for her performance at State, according The Hill, and forged a strong relationship with Gates, the only holdover from the Bush administration. Her many supporters argue she has the most credibility with the military of any Democrat and would be a logical choice to take Gates’s place at the Pentagon.

“The military loves her. They love her,” said Leslie Gelb, a former president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Gelb floated the possibility of a Foggy Bottom-to-Pentagon move for Clinton in a Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this year.

The appointment of Clinton to replace Gates would be historic. The former first lady and presidential candidate would be the first woman to serve as Defense secretary and only the second person – after George C. Marshall – to have served as both secretary of State and Defense, according to The Hill.
“That might appeal to her,” Gelb told The Hill.

“She’d be extraordinary in the position,” said Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic strategist and top fundraiser for Clinton in 2008. “She has shown an extraordinary capacity for growth [and] for creative thinking in every challenge she’s had in government.”

Read the entire story at The Hill.

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