March 8th, 2010
07:36 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama to nominate ex-Army general to head TSA, sources say

Sources tell CNN that President Obama will nominate an ex-Army general to head the Transportation Security Administration.
Sources tell CNN that President Obama will nominate an ex-Army general to head the Transportation Security Administration.

Washington (CNN) - President Obama has tapped a former Army general to lead the Transportation Security Administration, sources have told CNN.

Obama plans to nominate Robert A. Harding, a retired major general with 33 years in the Army, to become the TSA administrator, sources said. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will announce the nomination Monday with Harding by her side, according to one administration official.

"The TSA administrator is the most important unfilled post in the Obama administration," one administration official said. "Mr. Harding has the experience and perspective to make a real difference in carrying out the mission of the agency."

"If there was ever a nominee that warranted expedited, but detailed, consideration in the Senate, this is it," the official said.

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Filed under: TSA
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Jim

    So what will be the GOP's objection this time?

    March 8, 2010 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  2. if I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    I am sure that DeMint or Shelby will hold this up, with the hope of getting more earmarks.

    March 8, 2010 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  3. joel palmer

    The best thing that the governement could do would be to get rid of this do nothing department. It is an exercise to make the people "feel good" about security. They do nothing and accomplish nothing. It is a huge waste of time, money and energy.

    Simply give each air passenger a steak knife on boarding; that's all that's needed.

    March 8, 2010 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  4. if I was a libertarian

    Do we really need homeland security, FDIC, FDA, national parks, post office, interstate highways, police and fire departments, FBI, CIA, OHSA, public schools, public transportation, libraries, NTSB, air traffic controllers, social security, medicare, or any government agency that tries to keep us safe?

    March 8, 2010 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Get someone in there. I just wish the GOP wouldn't block this one over something stupid like unionization of the employees.

    March 8, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  6. About Time

    Thanks to all the republican obstruction, it only took a year and some change to fill this post. All of the obstruction is going to comeback and bite the republicans in the butt. They claim to be strong on national security, yet they held up this nominee for an entire year. For what???

    March 8, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  7. if I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    It is not about having someone who could implement programs to keep us safe, it is about DeMint wanting to know if he is anti union.

    March 8, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  8. Slider

    Knowing how "transparent" this administration is and has been in the past, I just have one question: does the General favor unions taking over TSA.

    It's not that I don't trust this administration; it's just that I don't trust this administration.

    See how easy it is?

    March 8, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  9. southerncousin

    Instinctively, I should trust this guy, but given the idiot we have as a president and some of his other appointments (Van Jones, Desiree Rogers, Tim Geithner, etc.) I have an uneasy feeling.

    March 8, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  10. TBA

    And yet, you know the GOP is going to block his nomination. B/c the GOP wants Obama to fail b/c hes not a Republican. That way everytime the TSA fails are something the blame is at Obama not nominating a TSA head person to be in charge.

    March 8, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  11. Monster Zero

    I guess Barry O really does care, he finally created a job!

    March 8, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  12. Gary

    Privacy not a big deal...radiation exposure? big deal. The issue with this technology is that if you travel a lot you are getting exposed to radiation. Think about it.

    March 8, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  13. PA WEAVER

    I don't see how in the world the Repubs can say "NO" to this nomination. General Harding is most qualified!

    March 8, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  14. Gary

    PS – Go for the pat down instead, you might just make a new friend, lol.

    March 8, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  15. GI Joe

    The Grand Obtructionist Party will say NO NO NO NO NO to this one too. Mark my word.

    Vote the obstructionists out.

    March 8, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  16. A Deep Bench .... the 6th Man

    It is too bad that politics from folks in South Carolina [that bastion of prejudice .... is the Confederate flag still a part of their state flag?] got in the way of the 1st nominee, a 4 STAR Commander of Security at one of the world's largest and busiest airports.

    I am cheered however, that Secretary Napolitano had a deep pool of highly qualified candidates to choose from.

    Hopefully this is a lesson to all. In America, we will no longer accept the old arguments against diversity .... the old ... " we'd like to hire someone but we can't find any qualified candidates".

    In 2040, when children borne under the Presidency of Barack Obama come of adult age, America will be populated by a majority of people that have been purged of ignorant prejudice-based biases.

    Then we will achieve MLK's dream .... I've been to the mountaintop ... I may not get their with you ... but we as a people will get to the Promise Land.

    March 8, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. john in binghamton NY

    Doesn't matter, he will will be held up by republicans until he says he will do whatever they want and even then they wont believe him.

    March 8, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. Marilyn

    How does being in the army qualify a person for being TSA administrator? Oh, that's right, he's black. That's enough for Obama.

    March 8, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |