Washington, D.C. (6/15/2012) – While the discussion rages about who Mitt Romney will choose for his running mate, there is another discussion behind closed doors. Senior officials in the Obama campaign are considering a change in the ticket for President Obama’s reelection bid. Vice President Joe Biden has been a loyal supporter of Obama; but, Biden has also been the darling of opposition press for his gaffs.
Biden is 69 and in good health. He has consistently reported a net worth of less than $500,000. He will have a very comfortable retirement with his federal pension and benefits. Should Obama ask Biden to step aside, Joe Biden would withdraw from the ticket without question.
One of the stars of the Obama administration has been Leon Panetta. Panetta has moved quickly up in President Obama’s administration as head of CIA and now as Secretary of Defense. Panetta, 74, is considered to be a quick learner as evidenced by his magna cum laude honors from Santa Clara University.
Panetta was CIA Director when Seal Team Six killed Osama Bin Laden on May 1, 2011. There is little dispute that Panetta’s leadership contributed to the success of the mission.
As Secretary of Defense, Panetta has had a triple challenge of disengaging from Iraq and Afghanistan and try to keep the military viable in the face of enormous cuts in the defense budget.
Panetta an eight term congressman was a member of the U.S. House Committee of the Budget from 1979 to 1985 then was chairman from 1989 to 1993. Then, in 1993, President Clinton selected Panetta as Director of Office of Management and Budget. Panetta developed a budget plan that eventually resulted in a balanced budget in 1998. President Clinton then gave Panetta the muscle to push is budget plan by naming him White House Chief of Staff in 1994. This gave Panetta the clout to negotiate with his former colleagues in the House of Representatives to deliver the 1998 balanced budget.
Leon Panetta has been getting a lot of media attention lately; indicating that his supporters are pushing him before the President and gaining further public support for a change in the ticket. It remains to be seen if President Obama would value the switch for his campaign. The move could be seen as Obama’s realization that the budget and economy will take some leadership that he could entrust to Panetta. Such a move could attract independent and conservative voters.
The deal breaker would be if Obama didn’t concede the authority to Panetta to craft a balanced budget. The President has dismissed tough budget decisions by ignoring his on budget commission’s recommendations and ignoring solutions put forth by Congress.
However, with the federal deficit and growing debts; plus, President Obama’s declining poll numbers, it is very likely that Leon Panetta will get the call to join the ticket. Such a move will get broad support from democrats and many republicans. Panetta was confirmed Secretary of Defense by the US Senate on a 100 to 0 vote. There are few issues that the US Senate votes on that get a 100 to 0 vote.
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