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- November 28, 2012

Obama Will Start His Second Term With His Administration Facing Vacancies In Critical Posts

OBAMA'S NATIONAL SECURITY TEAM IS FACING "DRAMATIC UPHEAVAL"

Clinton, Panetta, Brennan, And Bennett May Leave The White House

"Obama's National Security Team Is Facing The Most Dramatic Upheaval Of His Presidency." "President Barack Obama and his aides touted his strengths on foreign policy and national security during the campaign, arguing his accomplishments are so significant that they buttress his case for a second term. Now, just days after his reelection, Obama's national security team is facing the most dramatic upheaval of his presidency." (Josh Gerstein, "President Obama's Foreign Policy Team Hits Turbulence," Politico, 11/13/12)

  • Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton Plans To Leave The Obama Administration. "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to call it quits." (Josh Gerstein, "President Obama's Foreign Policy Team Hits Turbulence," Politico, 11/13/12)
  • Defense Secretary Leon Panetta "Indicated That He Was Unlikely To Stay In The Job For The Duration Of Obama's Second Term." "The timing of a nomination for Panetta's successor is unclear. On Monday, he said he had no imminent plans to step down but indicated that he was unlikely to stay in the job for the duration of Obama's second term. 'Who the hell knows,' Panetta said when asked by reporters traveling with him to Australia whether he would remain in office for four more years. 'It's no secret that at some point I'd like to get back to California.'" (Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller, "Obama Considering John Kerry For Job Of Defense Secretary," The Washington Post, 11/12/12)
  • Obama's Top Counterterrorism Advisor John Brennan May Also Leave The White House For The CIA Or Retirement. "John O. Brennan, Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser, is a leading contender for the CIA job if he wants it, officials said. If Brennan goes ahead with his plan to leave government, Michael J. Morell, the agency's acting director, is the prohibitive favorite to take over permanently. Officials cautioned that the White House discussions are still in the early stages and that no decisions have been made." (Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller, "Obama Considering John Kerry For Job Of Defense Secretary," The Washington Post, 11/12/12)
  • John Bennett, Head Of The Clandestine Service, "Was Talked Out Of Retirement To Take That Job And Has Signaled His Intent To Step Down In The Coming Months." "The head of the clandestine service, John Bennett, was talked out of retirement to take that job and has signaled his intent to step down in the coming months, current and former officials said." (Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller, "Obama Considering John Kerry For Job Of Defense Secretary," The Washington Post, 11/12/12)

CIA Director David Petraeus Resigned After The Election

CIA Director David Petraeus Resigned Mere Days After The Election Due To An Extramarital Affair. "David H. Petraeus, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency and one of America's most decorated four-star generals, resigned on Friday after an F.B.I. investigation uncovered evidence that he had been involved in an extramarital affair." (Michael D. Shear, "Petraeus Quits; Evidence Of Affair Was Found By F.B.I.," The New York Times, 11/9/12)

  • Petraeus's Resignation Created "An Unexpected Vacancy" For Obama. "Mr. Obama also has an unexpected vacancy at the top of the Central Intelligence Agency, after the recent departure of David Petraeus. Leading contenders include Michael Morell, the acting CIA director, and White House counterterrorism and homeland-security adviser John Brennan." (Peter Nicholas And Carol E. Lee, "President Weighs Picks For Cabinet, Adviser Positions," The Wall Street Journal, 11/18/12)

TREASURY SECRETARY TIMOTHY GEITHNER WILL LEAVE EARLY NEXT YEAR

"Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Has Said He Would Leave His Post Around The Time Of The President's Inauguration In January." "The president's top focus is on finding successors for secretaries who are preparing to leave the administration, including the secretaries of state and the Treasury, these people said. He also must fill the positions of some top West Wing advisers who are poised to depart. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said he would leave his post around the time of the president's inauguration in January." (Peter Nicholas and Carol E. Lee, "President Weighs Picks For Cabinet, Adviser Positions," The Wall Street Journal, 11/18/12)

  • The White House Confirms That Geithner Will Stay Until Early Next Year To Help "Forge A Deal With Lawmakers To Avert The Looming Fiscal Crisis." "Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner plans to stay into early next year to help the Obama administration forge a deal with lawmakers to avert the looming fiscal crisis, the White House said on Friday." (Rachelle Younglai, "Geithner Won't Leave Until 2013: White House," Reuters, 11/9/12)

SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISER DAVID PLOUFFE IS LEAVING

Senior White House Adviser David Plouffe Will Leave The Top Political Position In The Administration. "The top political position in the White House also is opening up. David Plouffe, a senior White House adviser who works a few steps from the Oval Office, is a confidant of the president whose unofficial mandate was winning a second term. Task accomplished, Mr. Plouffe will be leaving the White House, according to people familiar with his plans." (Peter Nicholas And Carol E. Lee, "President Weighs Picks For Cabinet, Adviser Positions," The Wall Street Journal, 11/18/12)

TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY RAY LAHOOD INTENDS TO LEAVE

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Intends To Leave His Post But Has Said "It's Up To The President" If He Stays. "Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Illinois, said last year he would leave his post at the end of Mr. Obama's first term. But Mr. LaHood told reporters Friday: 'It's up to the president, and I'm going to meet with the president, and we're going to talk about the future and see where it takes us.'" (Peter Nicholas And Carol E. Lee, "President Weighs Picks For Cabinet, Adviser Positions," The Wall Street Journal, 11/18/12)

DESPITE INDICATING HE IS READY TO LEAVE, ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER WILL STAY FOR ANOTHER YEAR

Holder Initially Indicated That He Needed To Figure Out If He Has "Gas Left In The Tank" For A Second Term

"Attorney General Eric Holder Is Said To Be On His Way Out. The Only Question Is Whether Sooner (Before Summer) Or Later, Towards The End Of The Year Or Maybe As Late As 2014." (Al Kamen, "Obama's Cabinet: Some Go, Some Stay," The Washington Post's In The Loop, 11/7/12)

  • Holder Is "In The Process Now Of Trying To Determine" Whether He Should Stay For Obama's Second Term. "Attorney General Eric Holder might not be sticking around for a second term. Holder told law school students at the University of Baltimore School of Law that he does not know if he will stay in his job. 'That's something that I'm in the process now of trying to determine,' Holder said. 'I have to think about, can I contribute in a second term?'" ("Holder Announces He Might Not Stay On As Attorney General," CBS DC, 11/8/12)
  • Holder: "It's Been An Interesting And Tough Four Years, So I Really Just Don't Know." "Holder says he needs to sit down with his family and President Obama to see if he wants to continue on the job. '[I have to] really ask myself the question about, do I think there are things that I still want to do? Do I have gas left in the tank? It's been an interesting and tough four years, so I really just don't know,' Holder told students." ("Holder Announces He Might Not Stay On As Attorney General," CBS DC, 11/8/12)

But Later Reports Confirmed That Holder Will Stay For Another Year At Obama's Request

"As For Mr. Holder, The Attorney General Has Accepted The President's Request To Stay On, Though For How Long Has Yet To Be Settled, The People Said." (Peter Nicholas And Carol E. Lee, "President Weighs Picks For Cabinet, Adviser Positions," The Wall Street Journal, 11/18/12)

  • Obama Asked Holder To Stay To Maintain "Some Stability In A Cabinet Expected To Undergo Significant Changes." "Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to stay on in President Obama's second term, but likely only 'for about a year' according to a report from Fox News. The report says the president asked Holder to remain on in hopes of maintaining some stability in a Cabinet expected to undergo significant changes… Earlier in the month, Holder had said he was still weighing whether to return." (Justin Sink, "Report: Holder Likely To Stay On As Attorney General One More Year," The Hill's Blog Briefing Room, 11/20/12)

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