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So, Chuck Hagel is out; pushed, it appears. Who should replace him? Who can? Here’s the problem: The only ones who survive in the Obama administration are political hacks with personal ties to the President. This generates a Catch-22: two of them, actually.
The first is public. Anyone with the potential to get anything done will be a hack. Conversely, anyone with the potential to get anything good done will be stymied. We’ve already been warned by Bob Gates and Leon Panetta. There’s no way for the public to come out ahead.
The second is personal. Imagine that you are someone competent, say, Michèle Fluornoy. Taking this job would be reputational and professional suicide, because it’s only a matter of time before Obama throws you under the bus. So anyone willing to take the job can’t be all that smart and competent to begin with.
It reminds me of Groucho Marx and the country club. If this administration wants someone as a member, we shouldn’t want that person to join.