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How About Ike for Secretary of Defense? [OPINION]

Ike Skelton
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Since the re-election of President Barack Obama, there have been several Presidential Cabinet members that announced they would step down, or it is speculated some may step down from their second term. It is speculated that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta may step down. It is said that John Kerry, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and former defense policy undersecretary Michele Flournoy could fill Panetta’s shoes whenever he decides to step down or if he does.

I would like to hear another consideration should the time come, Missouri’s very own and former Congressman Ike Skelton. Skelton served as U.S. Representative for Missouri from 1977-2011, was a member of the House Armed Services Committee and even chaired it from 2006-2011.

Since the loss to Vicky Hartzler, he has stayed active in Washington D.C.  Skelton is a Partner for HuschBlackwell and offers advice on on a variety of legal and public policy issues, especially matters relating to national defense, small business and international trade.

Skelton has been nominated by President Barack Obama as a member of the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC). The ABMC oversees the operation and maintenance of U.S. Armed Forces cemeteries and memorials abroad.

One can take a tour of Whiteman Air Force Base or Fort Leonard Wood and see the thumbprint that Skelton has put on those military installations. Skelton is said to have been the one that first recommended the B-2 Stealth Bomber come to Whiteman and helped bring more units to Ft. Leonard Wood.

I remember hearing Ike Skelton’s name as a possibility for Secretary of Defense in 2010, and I think we would hear his name mentioned again.  Maybe it’s because he’s now in the private sector or maybe it’s because of other reasons. I just think it would be nice to hear his name mentioned for something like this as he has the resume for it.

Only time will tell,  It seems even Panetta doesn’t know if or when he’ll step down.  Whoever has this position has one tough duty.


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