November 21st, 2008
10:36 AM ET
11 years ago

Sources: Jones leading choice for national security advisor

 Jones is the leading candidate to be Obama's national security advisor.

Jones is the leading candidate to be Obama's national security advisor.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Two sources close to the Obama transition team tell CNN retired Marine Gen. Jim Jones has emerged as President-elect's leading choice to become national security adviser in the White House.

The sources said Jones has been given the impression by the President-elect that the job is his if he wants it. But the officials said there are still private discussions underway and no final decision has been made.

The discussions are focused on precisely how much power Jones will have in the staff job since he is used to being in a command role. Among his many posts, Jones served for several years as the operational commander for NATO.

In the third and final presidential debate, Obama noted that he deeply values advice from Jones, who has four decades of military service.

One person close to the transition noted Jones is a bipartisan figure who has warm relationships with both current Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who may stay on the job for at least a brief period, as well as Sen. Hillary Clinton, who is now on track to be nominated as Secretary of State after Thanksgiving.
CNN first reported last week that Jones was getting serious consideration for either national security adviser or Energy Secretary.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Someone who knows the military and what is going on should be a good choice as long as his agenda is known. If everybody works well with him, Jones should be able to do some good on the job.

    November 21, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  2. ck

    more nonsense from the Clintons


    Are the Obamites feeling hoodwinked yet????


    November 21, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  3. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Imagine that, Obama picking someone with experience?!

    Hasn't he learned that you have to pick a pure neophyte like Bush did when he foisted Condi Rice on us?!?!?!

    Next thing you know, Obama will be picking all his cabinet personnel based on experience and knowledge!

    November 21, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. Helene

    ck : NO

    November 21, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  5. ohio

    not at all I am very happy with all of the picks so far...i would like to see some repubs like Hagel though.

    November 21, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  6. Chris (SC)

    ck- it is still a change from the Bush cabinet that couldn't punch their way out of a paper bag. If these choices are the best and brightest, I don't care if they worked with Clinton or Bush for that matter, Sec. of Def. Gates wouldn't be the worst choice to stick around.

    November 21, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  7. HouseDiva

    Please Obama....


    If i wanted Clinton i would have voted for her.

    I want to see some respectful republicans and or independents on your staff...that's if there's any out there.

    November 21, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  8. Dave in Atlanta

    The guy's name is Jim Jones? He needs to change his name before we appoint him.

    November 21, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. williefloyd

    In a word-NO-I have no reason at this point in time to mistrust Obamas' judgement.
    Some of you obviously do not understand "change" may come in several different forms.

    November 21, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. linda in AR

    Gen. Jim is a great, great choice.

    Besides, he's well qualified for a pick-up game of basketball.

    November 21, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  11. Spencer/NY to VA

    The team is coming along well. I look forward to watching this new administration get this country back on track.

    November 21, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  12. TyWebb

    Certainly better than Bush cronies – Rice & Hadley

    November 21, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  13. Joyce in Florida

    President-Elect Obama is making very wise choices for his cabinet. He is not rushing into his decisions and this makes for a fantastic Administration. I can't wait to finally see CHANGE in the White House. It is long overdue. GO OBAMA/BIDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    November 21, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  14. johnny

    You can't change all the players, fool. You change the GAME. Why can't some of you wrap your minds around that?

    November 21, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  15. Jeanne from AZ and a former Marine wife

    ck: Who would you like to see as National Security Adviser????? All of you that didn't vote for Obama are sure quick to be critical of his choice, but I don't see you coming up with any alternatives. If the pick has experience for the job, who cares if the person knows the Clintons . Jones is someone who knows the military, has been in command and is a former Marine. Good in my book !!!!

    November 21, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  16. Obama Victim

    hug your family...we are all in jeopardy

    November 21, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  17. Greg, NY

    To ck,

    You say picking people from the Clinton era isn't change... It's certainly change from the Bush era and what part of the Clinton era did you not like?

    The peace or the prosperity?

    November 21, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  18. TangoDancer

    Yeah ck, I feel hoodwinked. With so much professionalism being demonstrated by the Obama transition team, I guess I really made a big mistake by voting for BHO. Gosh darnit, I should have voted McCain-Palin, but I was just too infactuated with "The One" up through November 4th to realize that I was being fooled. Now I have to put up with this professionalism for the next four to eight years. Golly gee I'm starting to miss GW already – kind of like you are.

    November 21, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  19. Lizz

    Why people keep mentioning about Clinton's people?
    Why can't they be Obama's people since they supported Obama?

    From what I see, Obama and Clinton is one team.

    November 21, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  20. rules is rules

    Hey Ck

    I was hoodwinked during the last 8 years. Obama won the race fair and square and I am sure he has the judgement to put the right people in the right places to fix this mess. He hasn't even been sworn in yet, just let him do his thing. Also, we had a booming economy during the Clinton years. I am proud of my and YOUR President Elect.

    November 21, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  21. Maybe this Guy Can Find Obama's Aunt.

    Do you think a Nat'l Security Advisor ought to be able to find Obama's aunt-the illegal immigrant who is living off taxpayer money in Public Housing even though she was deported 4 years ago–

    Someone is hiding her in the U.S. This would be a good test for this guy because if he can't do that, maybe he's not so good.

    Her presence in the U.S. is an affront to every legal immigrant in the U.S.

    November 21, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  22. Gates was CIA

    I'd love to see Gates in this role and Hagel at Secretary of Defense. Gates has an intelligence background that we need somewhere in the administration after the failures of the Bush Intelligence service.

    November 21, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  23. Billy J , TX-

    Man! I am feeling good about this administration....

    There is so much to fix, but it looks like we are getting the folks we need in there to fix it. What a relief after this long dark death march the neo-cons had us on.

    November 21, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  24. Maggie in NYS

    ck – what are you talking about? General Jones has 4 decades in the Marines. Just the kind of person to be national security advisor! He has nothing at all to do with Clinton, except maybe that he knows and respects her, as well as Secretary Gates.

    November 21, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  25. Marie

    People should get used to the fact Obama is very intelligent and very strong willed so the people he has in his cabinet will have the experience but will also have to toe the line if plausible with the Obama directives.

    To not go in the direction Obama believes is the right way they will have to provide plausible reasons why they should not as different ideas should help make good decision.

    November 21, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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