Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Gates on Obama

The President Elect is committed to a smooth transition, and a National security team with some big name holdovers. Although it seems the relationship is lukewarm at best, one of those staying on is current Defense Secretary Robert Gates:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President-elect Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates may have policy differences, but Gates said Tuesday he was "impressed" by statements Obama has already made on issues such as the Iraq War.

A day after reluctantly agreeing to remain as secretary of defense in the incoming administration, Gates, 65, said he looked forward to taking an active stance on several key issues.

"I spent a long time hoping the question would never be popped ... and then yesterday, it became a reality," Gates told reporters. "It should go without saying that I have no intention of being a caretaker secretary."
That he admits his reluctance is of no surprise, but his emphatic statement that there must be some long term arrangement is. He certainly informed the President Elect that he would not stay on as a place holder, and certainly received assurances that would not be the case.

Gates also seems supportive of Obama's redeployment plans:
Obama has called for U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Iraq within 16 months, and Gates said he does not necessarily oppose the president-elect's views.

"He also said he wanted to have a responsible drawdown, and he also said that he was prepared to listen to his commanders," Gates said. "That's exactly the position a president-elect should be in."

Gates said Obama impressed him last month when the two men met in the fire station at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. On the same day, Obama met with Bush and shortly before he met with Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"I was impressed by his reaching out to Admiral Mullen, to come sit down and talk with him, and he has made clear that he wants to have a regular dialogue with the chairman and the chiefs and the commanders," he said.

Gates also said he was impressed by Michelle Obama's desire to work on behalf of military families.

"I think all of these send very positive signals to our men and women in uniform about the way the new commander-in-chief looks upon his responsibilities as commander-in-chief, but also as the person for whom all of these men and women in uniform work."
While the whiny Right wobbles like weeble dolls to grasp for relevance in this adjusted power structure, the bigger heads, and smarter members of their party continue to acknowledge what those of us who supported Obama knew all along. That he is ready, committed, and determined to correct the wrongs of the last almost 8 years.

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