Brennan is actually a very good choice to run CIA, having spent more than 2 decades at the agency prior to his being named to his current post as counterterrorism pointman.
Brennan, a 25-year veteran of the CIA, currently holds the title of Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. He's expected to appear with Obama later Monday at a White House event where the president will also announce his nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) to be the next defense secretary.
"Brennan's career of service and extraordinary record has prepared him to be an outstanding director of the CIA. Brennan served for decades at the Agency. Since 9/11, he has been on the front lines in the fight against al Qaeda. Over the past four years, he has been involved in virtually all major national security issues and will be able to hit the ground running at CIA," the White House said in talking points supporting his nomination provided to POLITICO early Monday.
White House officials also underscored the close working relationship Brennan has developed with the president over the past four years, as Brennan led the administration's response to a string of attempted terrorist attacks.
"Brennan has the full trust and confidence of the President," the talking points say. "For four years, he has seen the President every day, and been by his side for some of his toughest decisions - including the decision to launch the bin Laden raid. Brennan is as close to President Obama as any member of his national security team."
Brennan has been deeply involved in the Obama administration's aggressive use of drones to kill suspected terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. He was reportedly considered as a possible CIA director at the outset of Obama's first term but took his name out of the running after liberals charged that he was complicit in waterboarding and other tough interrogation tactics that President George W. Bush's administration used against terror suspects.
Brennan has been in the mix for agency leadership for a decade, but was passed over a couple of times. He is, by many accounts, a stand up guy who doesn't pull any punches in his analysis. This is the kind of thing presidents need and Obama could have done a lot worse than naming Brennan CIA director.