November 24th, 2008
02:20 PM ET
13 years ago

Analysis: Emerging players in Obama's national security team

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Hillary Clinton is on track to be Secretary of State, say sources."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - When the phone rings at 3 a.m. in the White House during a crisis, President Barack Obama won't lack for advice. But the question may be whose advice will be the loudest?

Obama's potential national security team looks like an all-star lineup: Sen. Hillary Clinton is on track, sources say, to be secretary of state; Defense Secretary Robert Gates may stay on; and retired Gen. Jim Jones is a leading candidate for national security adviser.

And according to The New York Times, retired Adm. Dennis Blair may be named as director of national intelligence. He did a tour of duty at the CIA, and his expertise is clandestine military operations.

Observers may wonder if so much high-power talent can get along.

"Are there downsides? Sure. When you have people with this much stature, there can be ego clashes," said CNN contributor David Gergen. "Everybody's ego has got to get into the same room ... and in at least one or two of those cases, I'm sure people think that their egos are big enough to fill the room all by themselves."

Clinton has applauded Gates' candor, but early on put him on notice.

"We need a strong secretary of defense - but that doesn't mean strong-headed," Clinton said during Gates' confirmation hearings in 2006.

Watch the debate over Clinton's foreign policy experience

Full story

Filed under: Obama transition
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. rachel

    Hillary is the best pick of the lot and she didnt merely have tea she actually voiced serious concerns with leaders and many of them have great respect for her ask Buhtto's husband.

    November 24, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. jesuino leduino rosa

    She wold be a nice senator for N.Y, if she cam get herself elected again, without Bills help.

    November 24, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. ran

    I still believe Bill Richardson would be a better SOS. HC should stay in the Senate where she would do more good.

    November 24, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |

    This team isn't looking like faces of change in Washington. Hopefully, we haven't all fell for some bs. The clinton affiliation sucks for hope of a new future, and Gates seems like J Edgar Hoover. Get them all out of there.

    November 24, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Duane in Philly

    Hillary probably doesn't really want to be Obama's SOS, but will accept it because she knows how much backstabber Bill Richardson SO wanted the job!

    November 24, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |

    This cabinet doesn't match faces of change. Clinton cronies, and JPMorgan, backdoor swindlers and crooked business people. Whatever happened to that investigation into how JPmorgan acquired Bear Stearn? It looks like the same business people as before with lobbyist ties to Big Business. I am extremely disappointed in Barack. We need a real change with some outsiders, not the same insiders that have a strangle-hold on Washington, and ties to Big Business.

    November 24, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. Sue

    Yep, sure. I can see Hillary taking orders now from Obama....

    November 24, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. Adriana

    President-Elect Obama's intelligence AND brilliance CANNOT be overlooked nor understated for the "politics" of this election! He knows EXACTLY what team players he needs around him, and I truly believe the "TEAM" he is choosing, including Senator Clinton, will be well grounded, and focused on the BEST each can do for America and for the World! I also feel each will respect President Obama! It's time to move forward and put aside all of the negative remarks about ANY team member that has been chosen or will be chosen in the future! America will be united in the comining months and years under the leadership of President-Elect Obama, and further, we will once again be respected by other World Leaders!

    November 24, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  9. Rick

    Man, this is going to be a hoot watching Obama's Dream Team destroy each other within the first 6 months.

    November 24, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. BJ

    I would love to see Hillary as Sec of State...anything to get her out of the Senate...

    November 24, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Larry

    CONTROL FREAKS--everywhere,disaster ahead!!!

    November 24, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. Steve/ Houston,TX

    I am confused. With the state of our economy; everyone wanting a bailout and the world watching every move that Obama makes, why is it such an issue for Obama to choose people who were successful in the past in lead positions during the Clinton administration? I would be worried if Obama was looking hire people from the Bush Administration. Why must people ridicule Obama's every move? I have every confidence that Obama is doing the best for this country and we need to support him.

    November 24, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  13. Truly Yours

    I think this is a very good lineup. I agree with those people who feel that these "all-stars" will check their ego's at the door and get things done for this country. I agree with the person who said that Obama is not trying to hire "yes men" like Bush/Cheney did, doesn't mean that this will not work. Go ahead and lead us into the right direction Obama!

    November 24, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. austin, tx

    Rick, you are soooo correct. These guys will be like kids on a playground fighting over the swing. It will get ugly, and the country will see, and feel the effects of it. Just watch. NOOBAMA, he will destroy this country day after day........

    November 24, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. austin, tx

    These guys will accomplish nothing other than pointing fingers at each other. You knew that when you voted for Obama. Waiting on "CHANGE".

    November 24, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. Glad to be Independent

    Picking the best and the brightest is a sign of strength. It shows that Obama is not threatened by having smart people around him. It is quite refreshing to have someone in the White House that is willing to listen and not be inflexible like our current president. I am confident Obama will be able to manage the egos and do some good things for our country.

    November 24, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  17. zgomer

    Oh great! now we get a Clton that doesn't know anything about anyone in this goofs cabinet. That is all we need. This witch will ruin us in the end at 3am!

    November 24, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  18. Darin

    Just like all of the chatter about Hillary as the vice president nominee, in a few weeks, when someone else is named SOS, we will all realize that the media was had by the Clinton machine yet again.

    November 24, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  19. maurice

    all i can say change is coming,,,,1 way or another.

    November 24, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  20. Ted:Canada

    Aid worker: Congo 'crying out for intervention' CNN Story

    Hillary – it is time to go to work!

    You can do it!

    Love from Canada!

    November 24, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    These people want to keep Hillary Clinton on news, Gov Palin and John Mccain......Get over it!

    November 24, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  22. unfairness doctrine

    Hillary needs to acccept the SOS position, after talking to many upper New York people about her failed campaign promises she very well may not be able to win another Senate election.

    November 24, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  23. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    November 24, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
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