When a Republican curmudgeon like Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma says he would vote for a Democratic nominee for defense secretary, then you might expect the next nominee to have a relatively clear path toward confirmation.
Today, President Obama is going to nominate former deputy defense secretary Ashton Carter to run the Pentagon; he would replace outgoing Secretary Chuck Hagel. He’s been highly decorated and has been confirmed already by the Senate for his one-time post.
Carter is a well-known expert on weapons and their procurement. He knows the ropes inside the world’s largest office building and it appears he’s got support from at least one Republican senator who’ll get a chance to vote on his confirmation. Will there be more?
GOP lawmakers have been making a lot of noise lately about blocking Obama appointments as payback for his executive action on immigration. They’ve been careful to exclude national security posts from that petulant game.
Let’s hope they’re faithful to their pledge.
If there was a federal agency that needs leadership and cohesion in this troubled time, one would expect it to the be the Department of Defense.
Do not dilly-dally on this one, senators.