Defense Sec. Robert Gates, the nation’s twenty-second person to hold the post, says he does want to retire, but not until 2011. “I think that it would be a mistake to wait until January 2012,” he says about heading into the sunset as Barack Obama gears up for re-election. “This is not the kind of job you want to fill in the spring of an election year.” So long as he finds time to reach for a ballpoint pen and finds the time to certify a certain document before then.
Everyone better hope Gates is around when the DADT thing goes down. There are few people out there that can garner the respect in the pentagon and instill fear like the current secretary. If anyone is going to convince the stubborn old generals it will be Gates. It will be tough for the administration to find someone that will have enough respect at the pentagon to be effective, and value doing the right thing over politics.
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