Guessing whom a president will pick for top executive branch jobs is Washington’s favorite parlor game. It’s cliche, but true.
And recently re-elected President Barack Obama soon will have to fill a slew of Cabinet and other high-level slots, including CIA director. For about a week the nation obsessed over the extramarital affair that brought down former top spy David Petraeus, the decorated former Army four-star general.
Eli Sugarman, a fellow with the Truman National Security Project, has penned a piece that sums up the conventional wisdom about who’s on the CIA director short list. Sugarman’s betting the job will go to one of four longtime Washington veterans: Michael Morrell, the acting CIA director who was Petraeus’ deputy; John Brennan, the White House’s deputy national security advisor for homeland security and counterterrorism; Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers; and former House Intelligence Committee member Jane Harman, D-Calif.
After the jump is a quick summary of what makes each a valid candidate, according to Sugarman.
Morrell: “[He] knows the CIA well and has worked directly with previous CIA directors and presidents alike. He also played a key role in Obama’s intelligence successes to date, such as the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.”
Brennan: “He directs U.S. counterterrorism policies, including the drone campaign and hunt for senior Al Qaeda operatives, from his White House office.”
Vickers: “He is a former Army special forces officer and CIA operations officer with several decades of experience in intelligence circles.”
Harman: “During her 18-year career in Congress, Harman served on the House Armed Services Committee, Intelligence Committee, and Homeland Security Committee and amassed extensive knowledge and experience in national security matters.”
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