According to MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell’s sources, President Obama personally called Michele Flournoy to ask her to succeed departing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. But Flournoy turned him down flat. She cited “family reasons,” but that’s Washington-speak for “Thanks but no thanks.”
Mitchell said “I was told that Flournoy was actually called by the president the day before yesterday to both offer her the job, cajole her, talk her into it. And the fact that gets out there that I learned about it and others then learned about it is so embarrassing to a White House that they’ve got a job, a cabinet job like this, the top-tier cabinet job that they can’t talk anyone into taking.”
Mitchell also said that Flournoy would make a “great choice” mainly because she is a woman.
“She was passed over last time and is such a great choice. Would be the first woman defense secretary,” Mitchell said, ignoring the fact that Flournoy involved herself in Obama’s last presidential campaign and made comments about Iraq that would come up in confirmation hearings in the new Senate.
It’s not difficult to understand why no one wants Hagel’s job. Serving as Barack Obama’s defense secretary during the final two years of his presidency is likely to end up being a career killer. Obama’s next defense secretary will preside over the continued decline of American military strength, and may have to lead one if now two new wars — one against ISIS and one versus Russia. Obama wants to slow roll our way into war against ISIS, to the extent that he wants to fight at all. That’s a sure strategy for bleeding the American military and treasury and ultimately losing the war — and leaving ISIS and its caliphate more or less intact for the next president to deal with.
In addition to that, Hagel is being let go because he told the truth about the above. The next secdef will be expected not to do that, or they will be fired too. And unless they are already an Obama insider, they stand little chance of getting past his inner circle to get the president’s ear.
Who would want that job?