Posted by lex, on October 8, 2010
Retired Marine four-star and Obama NSC director James L. Jones announced that he is but the latest member of the White House cabinet to step down, no doubt to work on his memoirs and “spend more time with family”:
A retired Marine general, Jones brought decades of national security experience to the post and military credibility to an administration whose senior civilian members have never served in uniform. He expanded the National Security Council to include agencies responsible for American energy, economic and environmental policy, believing that those issues would play a far larger role in shaping U.S. defense and diplomatic strategy in the decades to come.
But Jones, a towering if aloof figure, often had trouble fitting into a National Security Council culture dominated by several hard-charging veterans of Obama’s campaign who have known the president for years. His condition for initially taking the job – that he would be the last one to see Obama on the most pressing national security issues of the day – was often unmet.
Ever the faithful soldier, Jones carried the president’s water by questioning the need for additional forces in Afghanistan. He is to be replaced by Thomas E. Donilon, a lawyer, career member of the Democratic foreign policy establishment and close confident of Vice President Joe Biden.
Among Donilon’s many achievements while in public service was his work as Executive Vice President for Law and Policy matters at Fannie Mae: The incoming NSC director made millions while in that role, and was noted for successfully lobbying against increased federal oversight and regulation. All this, of course, before the federal government was forced to seize control of the government sponsored enterprise in the wake of the sub-prime mortgage meltdown that wrecked the national economy.
We are in the very best of hands.