November 21st, 2008
10:36 AM ET
12 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. Ed from Dallas

    Obama won the presidential election becasue he is the smartest guy ther is. The democrats tried to tell him to throw the kitchen sink on McCain but he did not do it. Now, these same guys are saying that this is not change.
    Obama knows that his election will mean nothing is he does not deliver. The Republicans will be stalling his agenda so they can claim 4 years later he failed to deliver.
    The only way he can deliver is to put people who know their way around Washington. In the last 20 years, there has only been 1 democratic president. Clinton. The only Democrats with washington experience worked for Clinton.

    November 21, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. LyonsPhilly

    That's right Obama, surround yourself with positive and knowledgeable people. When you see that you can't trust them, give them the boot.....

    November 21, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  3. LM75

    I'm loving this. Welcome to adult leadership. Kindergarden group is out. There is change in the air.

    November 21, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. MIKE

    Finally an appropriate pick from Obama rather than just political paybacks

    November 21, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. EW

    Lets just run this down for all the liberals out there.

    Clinton gave us....forced subprime lending, the dot com bust, and a bunch of feel good legislation that did nothing to reduce crime, address poverty or address the failing education system. He also RAISED taxes on just about everyone.

    Now we are seeing the same policy advisors and cabinet members that worked in the Clinton Administration recycled into an Obama administration.

    I am still left wondering what change this guy was talking about. It obviously was not a change in the rampant partisanship and cronyism of Washington.

    November 21, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. rich

    If this report is accurate, sounds like a good pick to me. The only thing which concerns me is this notion of "how much power he will have since he is accustomed of being in a command role". There is and should only be ONE COMMANDER IN CHIEF. So I am a little bit puzzled as to what power he wants?

    November 21, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  7. Anne/stone mountain Ga

    I agree with williefloyd. Change comes in many forms...I think we need to back up and let President elect Obama choose his staff.

    November 21, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  8. Salt

    I, too, would love to see Hagel brought on board in some capacity.
    As far as feeling "hoodwinked", not at all. I'd much rather see him picking people with relevant experience for his cabinet positions, especially those that served in a time such as the Clinton era (which was prosperous). Could you even imagine the pool from which McCain would be pulling cabinet members? There's a ROFL for you right there.

    November 21, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. 60 year old white female and proud supporter of PE Obama

    Why does CNN continue to circulate rumours when in the srticle it states " no final decision" has been made. This constant supposition and nameless sources is doing a great disservice to the transition , the people involved and the mood of the electorate as a whole.

    All the naysayers should take the time to read the final paragraph. Appears Jones fits into Obama's plans, policies and promises.

    November 21, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. Soccer Nana

    General Jones appears to be a wise choice.

    We are behind you Mr. President-Elect; we'll simply ignore the likes of ck and others like him/her.

    November 21, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. Whatever Man

    more nonsense from the Clintons


    Are the Obamites feeling hoodwinked yet????

    Ya'll dude lost please stop making this fake argument that Obama is not bringing change. You bring change about through POLICY!!!! okay. I'm sorry he is not bringing in newbies which ya'll (Republicans) would complain about anyway. Its a stupid argument eveytime I see the comment stating "Well I guess Obamabots are feeling stupid now". No whats stupid is the Republican party that believes in human mascots (Joe the plumber, Tito the builder) and token VPs ala Sarah Palin and try to sell that to the American public. Hate Obama all you want but when his administration starts turning things around for the better you and your family will benefit also. Closed minded + Hypocritical + Stubborn + Twisted Logic + Selfish = Today's Republican

    November 21, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. ProgressiveDemocrat

    Sounds like he would be a sound choice for Obama's Staff and Obama to pick for this position.

    I would like to know if he is a Progressive and this goes for all Obama Picks .

    Does anyone know ?

    November 21, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. Terry

    I like the team that Barack Obama is building. All of those chosen will push back, which Obama likes and encourages. Strong, intelligent leaders, are not afraid to have strong, intelligent members on their advisory team and in cabinet posts.

    November 21, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. My Friends, let me tell you,

    change means anyone not connected to treasonous warmongers and neocons.CK,the fifteen year old blogger and fan of Rush Limbaugh will never get it.He should be totally ignored.He uses many names but its easy to tell who he is by the hate and sound bites he or she uses over and over.

    November 21, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Latina-Indepedent-4-OBAMA

    @ CK, NO, I am not, 'hoodwinked'. President-elect Obama is clearly one of the most intelligent presidents in modern times. All you have to do is look at the way he ran his campaign! Compare to the mayhem, disorganized, back-biting, VILE, McCain campaign. OBAMA's was brilliant!

    People, need to THINK, instead of listening to the AM radio-hate-and-fear-mongers!

    CHANGE is NOT getting rid of the Clintons, it IS CHANGING the way our President governs!

    Of course, I know that the far-right-haters & the closed minded will NEVER SEE the brilliance, wisdom nor strengths of President-elect Obama, you people are too narrow minded to admit you are wrong!

    November 21, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. Bubba

    All right, NO KOOLADE JOKES!! Or I'll remind you what 'bush' is slang for.

    November 21, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. STLouisGal

    To all the people whining about the change issue: Obama ran on change meaning change from the horrible last 8 years under Bush/Cheney/Rove and friends. Remember the Clinton war...a strong economy! Obama is picking the best and smartest for his cabinet. Whether or not they worked during the Clinton administration is not a factor.

    November 21, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. Jason

    The corect name is James Jones. Maybe he wants to be called Jim now. I know this because he was my Marine Corps Commandant.

    November 21, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. Sanity Has Returned

    I don't feel hoodwinked in the least. Obama has always said he wanted to pick intelligent, qualified people to work in his Adm, people that would not be yes men, but challenge him and not all of them would be Dems. Now is not the time to put College buddies in positions of power. I'm fine with Obama's picks as of right now, but I'm sure that other than the White House staff, they still need to be confirmed.

    November 21, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  20. paolo

    Day by day it's getting more and more a Clintonlike gov.
    A lack of talented people elsewhere?

    November 21, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  21. Mike Dallas

    All you dittoheads whining about old Clinton appointees.

    Do you think there is a parallel universe out there with a whole set of qualified Democrats??

    Of course, they will mostly be Clinton appointed Democrats since Clinton was the last Democratic president.

    I certainly do not want newbie governors attempting to dig us out of the ditch.

    November 21, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  22. Pete

    The Obama team is a sieve. They couldn't keep their mouth shut if our lives depended on it. Oh wait, our lives do depend on it.

    Change you can be ashamed of.

    November 21, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  23. Pete

    Ironic. I thought Jim Jones was the one who prepared the Kool-Aid, not the one who drank the Kool-Aid.

    Well at least they both like Kool-Aid.

    November 21, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  24. SHELLI

    What is President Elect Obama going to do about Gov. Richardson, Is he going to place him in an Administrative Office Posiion? I think that Secretary of State would be a great place for him and he should place Hillary in the Health and Human Services Department

    November 21, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  25. Matt

    HA! Between all the blabber about koolaid from both sides during the election, then a CNN special on Jonestown...this couldn't be funnier...

    November 21, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
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