Non-RI Based Speculation on Jack Reed as the Next SecDef

The Associated Press is reporting that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will retire sometime next year. Rhode Island Senior Senator Jack Reed is listed amongst the possible successors…

Washington insiders have long speculated that potential successors include Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel; Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy; John Hamre, chairman of the Defense Policy Board and president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank; and Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat…
Flournoy and Reed are also considered long shots, with neither regarded as having enough experience in managing such a large bureaucracy. While Reed, a former Army ranger, is considered a favored Democratic talking head on defense matters, he also is the father of a toddler daughter and is said to prefer the relatively quiet life of a local politician.
Under legislation passed by the RI General Assembly this year, Senate vacancies are now filled by special election to be held as quickly as is reasonable after a seat becomes open, and no longer by gubernatorial appointment.

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11 years ago

Sec. Gates is apparently going to go near the end of 2011.
Why would Sen. Reed give up a safe seat in the U.S. Senate to serve as Sec Def in the final year of Pres. Obama’s first term?
It don’t make sense.
(Interesting comment, by the way, about Sen. Reed’s lack of experience running a bureaucracy. His service as a platoon leader and company commander in the Army gives him more managerial/leadership experience than Pres. Obama has!)

Scott Bill Hirst
Scott Bill Hirst
11 years ago

What executive experience did Hillary Clinton have before becoming Secretary of State unless you include being First Lady or Arkansas and the United States?
She held a legislative office before her secretaryship.
I do not know how many cabinet tmembers in the current or recent administrations had executive experience. Some come from politics or acdemia without management experience.
I think Sen. Reed taking a cabinet appointment would not politically wise for him. It is rare for a U.S. Senator losing a U.S. Senate seat in Rhode Island. A successor likely would be a Democrat likely preventing him to seek a comeback after his cabinet appointment ended.
Of course Linc Chafee lost in 2006,. The last Democrat U.S. senator to lose a U.S. Senate seat was Peter Gerry in 1928,. He later won it back. He was a descendant of Elbridge Gerry, Massachusetts Governor and U.S. Vice President the Gerrymander is named for.

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