Dana Bash of CNN tells us that John McCain wants his friend Joe Lieberman to replace Robert Gates as SecDef:
Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, tells CNN he believes his good friend Joe Lieberman would make a good defense secretary for President Obama, calling him “one of the most informed members of the Senate on national security issues and homeland security issues.”
McCain was answering a question from CNN in a telephone interview about whether the president should consider picking Lieberman for the post, since Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said he wants to leave this year.
“You know its funny you mention it,” responded McCain, “I really hope that the president would consider him. I hadn’t thought about it but I sure hope, whatever happens, he will play a major role on national security issues,” said McCain.
I’m no fan of the guy, but it’d be a way to get him out of the spotlight while simultaneously giving President Obama a bit of a hawkish allure – without actually having to do anything hawkish! While the Secretary of Defense is of course one of the president’s top national security advisors, his job is primarily to implement the commander-in-chief’s military and security agenda overseas. Cabinet secretaries don’t publicly disagree with their boss unless they want to lose their jobs. So it’d be a nice little publicity coup, and a chance for Obama to get another experienced voice on national security issues in his government, while not having to make any substantive policy concessions to the right. If Lieberman’s up for it, it wouldn’t be a bad idea.