A Good Move for John McCain – and for the Country

Senator McCain should send a message that, if elected, he intends to keep Robert Gates as SecDef. The man “gets it” and there are too few like that.

UPDATE:

Favorable reaction to the Gates speech from John Robb, Charlie at Abu Muqawama, Dr. Chet Richards . Purpleslog wants deeds and not words.

8 comments on this post.
  1. Eddie:

    obama and Clinton would be wise to do the same.  That’s not asking for too much.  Obama has claimed he wants someone like Hagel at DOD or Lugar at State.  That brings an interesting possibility, an Obama Presidency with Lugar @ State and Gates @ DOD.  Gotta be good for the country.  Gates deserves 4-6 years to undo the damage done by Aspin, Cohen and Rummy, let alone to implement the kinds of changes and reforms needed.

  2. “Gates Says Air Force Not Doing Enough”. I Say So What? « PurpleSlog:

    […] not saying he is a bad SecDef. He just needs to move quicker in the direction he is going. BTW,  I too would be okay with McCain (if elected president) keeping him as […]

  3. Adrian:

    I doubt any of the candidates would promise this though.  Gates isn’t a very public persona, I don’t think the general voting public has much of an opinion on him one way or the other – and endorsing Gates would lose any candidate the Air Force vote!  😉

  4. zen:

    At least the vote of the brass.
    .
    Adrian, you’re correct that keeping Gates is not a huge vote-getter or incentive in the short term. It’s not a "quantity" or "mass"oriented political action. What it would be though, is a "quality" or "gravitas" move; a powerful signal to insiders and informed influencers and opinion-shapers as to the seriousness of the direction intended. Pay political dividends later/indirectly

  5. Stephen Pampinella:

    Gates should absolutely stay, but what if he doesn’t want to? Remember, he was brought in from the bullpen to clean up Rumsfeld’s mess.

    When the next president takes the oath on Jan. 20, 2009, Gates will be just 65 years old, but he insists he will retire from public life, this time for good. A friend recently gave him an electronic key chain, inscribed “The Gates Countdown,” with a small screen reading out how many days remain till the end of the term. He carries it everywhere, in part as a joke but not entirely. Told that those screens can be reset, he replied, “Not this one.” When I mentioned that some lawmakers would like him to stay on in the next administration, he replied, “I am very wary of saying, ‘Never,’ ” but added, “The circumstances under which I would do that are inconceivable to me.”

  6. zen:

    Hi Stephen,
    .
    Hmmm. That bodes poorly. OTOH George Marshall too retired for about a day – several times.

  7. Stephen Pampinella:

    Zen,

    Yes, perhaps Marshall will visit Gates in a vision and make his continued tenure more ‘conceivable’.  I’ve got my fingers crossed.

  8. Lexington Green:

    Great speech by Gates.

    He will be hard to replace.