I recently posted Anne-Marie Sluaghter’s op-ed calling for “gender blindness” when it comes to Obama’s task of appointing a new cabinet. Perhaps Obama didn’t have time to read it. And he missed our tweet about it (and my post, hmpf).
It goes without saying that the US Sec of Defense is a tremendously important job. And of great interest, certainly here in Israel. The prospect of a woman filling the position raises a series of vital issues close to our hearts and heads here at the Gates.
But as Haviv Gur points out in today’s Times of Israel (full article here)
Michele Flournoy has been touted by conservatives, Israel supporters, women’s rights activists and Democrats for the defense secretary post. But does she even want the job?
It might be coming her way, as Hagel seems less and less likely. IN Gur’s words: “With the idea of a Hagel appointment being savaged by Republican senators, security hawks, gay advocacy groups, mainstream newspapers including the Washington Post, advocates for stronger sanctions on Iran and Cuba, and pro-Israel campaigners from both sides of the aisle, Obama would have to be unusually committed to Chuck Hagel’s nomination for it to go forward.”
Speaking of the Washington Post — it’s editorial on DEc. 19 “Chuck Hagel is not the right choice for defense secretary” was a long list explaining the statement made in the head line. Among others:
What’s certain is that Mr. Obama has available other possible nominees who are considerably closer to the mainstream and to the president’s first-term policies. Former undersecretary of defense Michèle Flournoy, for example, is a seasoned policymaker who understands how to manage the Pentagon bureaucracy and where responsible cuts can be made. She would bring welcome diversity as the nation’s first female defense secretary.
Jennifer Rubin is actively advocating Flournoy’s appointment in the same outlet.
While Flournoy is qualified, she left her job at the Pentagon. You’ll read most places it was “to spend time with her family.” (This too echoes Slaughter’s article on women and careers…) but as CNN points out in their profile of her, she’s wasn’t sitting idly by “Those who know Flournoy, including two Pentagon officials who have worked with her, say that may not be entirely accurate, and point to what she actually did in her off time – becoming a senior adviser on Obama’s last campaign and spending time at the defense-oriented think tank she co-founded.”
Interesting times ahead! We’ll keep you posted
Post script — the picture of Flournoy at the Times of Israel article is *ridiculous*. It shows her as a little girl, bowing her head shyly while ‘dad’ (Panetta” applauds her.
THIS is the picture that ought to go with a serious piece on a serious person who might take on one of the top 5 serious jobs in the world:
(phtot: DoD Photo/Cherie Cullen)