Former CRFB Chairman Leon Panetta Selected to Be Next Secretary of Defense

UPDATE: Gordon Adams over on CG&G argues that Panetta is the right man for the job for three reasons: he knows budgets, he's a decisive administrator, and he's bipartisan. Overall, he thinks it's a great appointment.

In what the Washington Post called "a long-anticipated shakeup" of President Obama's national security team, several news outlets have reported that CIA director Leon Panetta is expected to become the next Secretary of Defense, with Gen. David H. Petraeus assuming the role of CIA director from his current position as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

Leon Panetta -- a former chairman of CRFB who left for the Administration more than two years ago -- has many years of experience working in Washington, and especially with budgets. A member of Congress for almost 20 years, he served as Chairman of the House Budget Committee from 1989 to 1993, then as head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, where he played a major role in the balanced budget negotiations of the 1990s.

We hope Panetta's move to the Pentagon is a sign that the Administration is serious about controlling costs within the Defense budget -- they have certainly picked someone with the necessary knowledge and experience.

Congratulations, Mr. Panetta. We wish you all the best in your next position!