January 5th, 2009
02:45 PM ET
12 years ago

Sources: Panetta is pick for CIA

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/05/art.getty.leon.panetta.jpg caption="Former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta will be chosen to head the CIA, sources say."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Leon Panetta, chief of staff in Bill Clinton's White House, will be President-elect Barack Obama's choice to head the CIA, two Democratic officials told CNN Monday.

The same officials said that retired Adm. Dennis Blair, who formerly headed the Navy's Pacific Command, will be tapped as director of national intelligence.


Filed under: Leon Panetta
soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. Todd Ackerman

    Wow! This is an even bigger story than George Bush's cat dying!

    How will the newspaper's pick their lead story Tuesday morning?!?

    January 5, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. for obama nj-dp

    kevin in ohio – quit being negative and seeing the glass 1/2 empty, and be positive and see the glass 1/2 full.....

    January 5, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. Adam

    Leon Panetta?!?? WHAT?!??

    January 5, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. Mark VA

    Where is the Change? We are getting disillusioned already with Obama. The more we see of people that Obama wants around him the worse it gets. More of the same "old" politics.

    January 5, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. AmericaGotItRightThisTime

    It makes sense that his cabinet members have Clinton connections since the Clinton Administration was the LAST Democratic administration. Did you expect him to appoint recent college grads?

    January 5, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. rodlang

    What experience does Panetta have in the intelligence field? He was a partisan democrat in the House. Bad choice for what needs to be a non-partisan job.

    January 5, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Joman

    I enthusiastically voted for Obama because of the change he said he would bring.

    So far, however, its hard not to be miffed by the number of former Clinton Administration officials being called to service. Its kind of like when Republican Administrations keep bringing Jim Baker back for duty. The career people get recycled versus replaced.

    The only thing left is to see whether the Obama Administration governs differently. If not – 2012 may be up for grabs.

    January 5, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Ken

    @Kevin in Ohio: One change that we should BOTH be able to believe in is a change to an executive office that won't treasonously "out" CIA agents for political purposes.

    Or are you one of those neo-tards who wants to put country first by quibbling about the facts of that despicable debacle....or who wants to mindlessly complain about the Clinton admistration which brought unprecidented prosperity to this nation, in stark comparison to the mess we are living with now ....or who wants to try to defend the downright regressive, ill-considered policies of the past 8 years by always blaming their failure on the past admistration, in an irresponsible uber-partisan defence of [R] incompetence?

    January 5, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Laverne

    To Gina, you are exactly RIGHT. Change comes from the leadership and the way Obama will govern according to this vision for the country. It is amazing how many people don't GET IT, it is very simple to comprehend.

    January 5, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. Mary Ann

    OK....let's be realistic before we start using the "Clintonista" banter as meaning something less than positive. The majority of the experienced political workforce for the Democratic party had something to do with the last Democratic administration.....duh! I applaud Obama for trying to retain QUALIFIED people he believes will do the best job, period. It makes sense if they served the Clintons since that was the last Democratic admin......think about it!

    Or are you using the "Clintonista" banter because you still can't get over the election???

    January 5, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  11. Michael ATL GA

    For all the "change Mongers". What did you expect? Picking Joe-the six pack types to Intelligence positions? or your beloved highly qualified distinguished woman from Anchorage?
    "Change" means picking qualified people to do the job, rather than cronies. Get it?? jeeez

    January 5, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. Annie

    Oh man you gotta love this CHANGE!

    January 5, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  13. TT in MD

    Where is Leon Panetta's Intelligence Community experience? The Porter Goss experiement by President Bush did not work well. A chief of Staff does not have the background. There were a number of qualified names floated around, but instead makes what seems to be a politcal appointment.

    January 5, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. John

    People who vote Republican don't want change anyway. They were happy the way things were. Whether they have a deep seeded belief that a black man can't do the job, or they make enough money off of a republican policy of survival of the fittest, no matter who he picks for any post, President-Elect Obama will be heavily criticized by close-minded republicans. The same way close-minded democrats never gave Bush any credit for the good things he did, like protecting the country after a devastating event.

    Hooray for open-minded people we can believe in!

    January 5, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. chris from Ohio

    I am sure that the decision came from the experience that this person is bringing to the table and not about making you Kevin and the other mccain lovers happy. Get over it, change is coming and so far our president elect has done more in the few weeks since the election than Bush did in 8 years.

    January 5, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. RJ, Phoenix

    To Gina,
    I'll believe it when I see it.
    So far we've seen nothing but more of the same.

    January 5, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. Lulu in FL

    Panetta has no experience in intelligence. Now that he has been selected to lead the CIA, I feel very safe for my country....NOT!

    Good God, why couldn't he pick Jack Bauer.

    January 5, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. Mark from LA

    In response to "Kevin in Ohio" - We've had one Democratic administration since 1980. The idea that Obama can't draw from the ranks of the successful, talented people who were part of that administration because he wants to change things (mainly Bush's programs and policies, by the way) is silly.

    Indeed, to flatly reject the idea of hiring folks from the Clinton administration simply because they were part of that administration would be sheer stupidity. And Barack isn't stupid. Nor did he ever say, or suggest, that he would limit his search for qualified cabinet members and others to people who hadn't served in past administrations, let alone the Clinton administration.

    So give the sarcasm a rest, please.

    January 5, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. Art in New Mexico

    What? Panetta as CIA director? He has absolutely no experience in the intelligence field and he's going to run the CIA? It might be just me, but that makes no sense whatsoever!

    January 5, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. JJ12345

    I guess we should not ever see anything ever again about how Bush nominated anyone who isnt qualified for position. This guy has absolutely no relevant experience to run the CIA.

    January 5, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Peter

    you have to give it to clinton. he done good. monica did what we should have rewarded him for – peace, prosperity, progress. i'd be willing to give obama utah to rule as he wishes if he can turn this country around in 8 years. i kid of course. about the monica thing. 😉

    January 5, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. joe

    nice choice. I am Italian American and I like that choice. Atleast one italian in the cabinet!

    January 5, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. Terry

    Those who are scornful of "Clintonistas" should remember that most Americans admire the Clintons, were happy with the Clinton administration, and when Clinton left office he . Most of the world loves the Clintons, including our allies and our enemies. Most Americans believe that after a $65 million investigation that ended with NO evidence against the Clintons, that the whole impeachment thing was a complete waste of time. It was a political ploy, nothing more.

    "Among living Presidents, Jimmy Carter and the first President Bush are viewed favorably by 57% of Americans. Bill Clinton is viewed favorably by 55%."

    Those who used impeachment just to stop the Clinton administration from being successful were bordering on treason, reminiscent of the impeachment of Johnson after Lincoln's assassination.

    January 5, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Danny in Chicago

    Once again Kevin –

    Got into every blog now did ya? Hmm......seems a little suspicious to me that you and your dividing ways gets every one of your blogs posted.

    That's right......change we can believe in......

    And you are in the minority NOW buster.....better get use to THAT!

    January 5, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Slogans anonymous

    Change is inevitable.

    January 5, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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