Retired Marine Gen. James Jones, a former NATO supreme allied commander, reportedly is a candidate for the White House role of national security adviser – and the former commandant of the Marine Corps signals he is ready for the call.
Meanwhile, other press reports suggest that Jones, president and chief executive officer for the U.S. Chamber Institute for 21st Century Energy, could be tapped for a senior intelligence post.
The buzz about a potential big role for Jones in President-elect Barack Obama’s administration rose above murmurs when the Illinois senator mentioned his name during the third presidential debate.
“If I’m interested in figuring out my foreign policy, I associate myself with my running mate, Joe Biden, or with Dick Lugar, the Republican ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or General Jim Jones, the former supreme allied commander of NATO,” Obama told the audience at New York’s Hofstra University.
Jones was surprised at the mention of his name, according to a report in InsideDefense.
“It certainly surprised me because the chamber as a matter of policy doesn’t get involved in the presidential campaigns,” Jones said.
The chamber maintained good relations with the presidential campaigns of Obama and Republican John McCain, he said.
During a recent interview with Inside the Pentagon, Jones said, “If I wanted to run for office, I know I could. I understand that, but personally, I would prefer to be of help, of service, to the country on things that I may know something about. I would like not to be seen as a Republican or Democrat, but as somebody who can help on major issues like energy, the Middle East, and other things where my services may be useful.”
Most recently, Jones was the Bush administration’s special envoy for Middle East regional security. He also spearheaded a study that was critical of the handling of the Afghanistan war.
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