New York District 20 rep John McHugh, currently the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, is apparently being chosen by Barack Obama as his new Secretary of the Army. Fox News says Obama will officially name McHugh to replace current Secretary Pete Geren.
McHugh is another Republican pick for Obama’s defense staff. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates worried Obama supporters because they believed a Republican pick would bolster opinions of Democrats as weak on defense.
UPDATE: remarks from Obama…
“… My administration has increased funding for our military, including the army, and increasing the size of the military two years ahead of schedule.”
That’s gotta sting some Code Pinkers.
“Today I’m proud to announce the distinguished public servant who will help keep us safe, and who will help keep our sacred trust with our soldiers and their familes. The next Secretary of the Army, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, John McHugh.”
“… but it is his service over the past 16 years in Congress, as a champion of our men and women in Uniform that uniquely qualifies him to help lead America’s Army.”
“John is committed to keeping America’s Army the best-trained, the best-equipped, the best-led land force the world has ever seen.”
And… where the politics come into play…
“Finally, John shares my belief that a sustainable national security strategy must include a bipartisan consensus at home.”
Translation: John is a token Republican who I probably won’t listen to, but at least the media can point to when people claim I’m not being bipartisan.
This, of course, followed by the standard “It’s an honor to be nominated” stuff by McHugh.