Who will replace Shineski?

Now that he's been tossed under the bus, who will succeed Eric Shineski as Veterans Administration secretary?

It is currently the worst job in Washington, so few are lining up to be chosen. President Obama named Sloan Gibson as acting secretary, and he may eventually be in the mix for a permanent posting.

But whoever emerges as the president's choice will have to be prepared for scrutiny from congress and veterans organizations unlike any past secretary has had to cope with.

The Hill lists 5 possibles:

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.)

A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Reed could prove an ally to Obama in helping cool the bipartisan criticism coming from Congress about the scandal.

"He's been an enormous advocate for veterans," said Alex Nicholson, legislative director at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Reed, who is a West Point alum and served as an Army ranger, comes from a blue state, so if he were appointed, it wouldn't likely cost Democrats a Senate seat.

"I think Reed would get quite a lot of bipartisan support," said Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the right-leaning Cato Institute. "He's very popular among his colleagues."

Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal

Who better to lead an agency in desperate need of a comeback than someone whose ready for a comeback of his own?

McChrystal resigned from his position as a top commander in the Afghanistan war after he made critical remarks about Vice President Joe Biden in an interview with Rolling Stone

"He is much more dynamic than Shinseki," said Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and author of Serving America’s Veterans. "McChrystal is fearless. And he's honest -- that's what got him into trouble in the first place."

Retired Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli

Chiarelli served in the Obama administration as the former vice chief for the Army. He's now a retired four-star general, but has stayed active in veterans' issues. 

Chiarelli has advocated for mental health reform for Veterans as the executive director at One Mind, Nicholson said. 

"We think that's a growing issue that the V.A. is going to have to deal with," he said. "Chiarelli is a forward thinker."

Retired Admiral Michael Mullen

Mullen chaired the Joint Chiefs of Staff in both the Bush and Obama administrations. 

Then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates personally recommended to Obama that Mullen stay on from the Bush administration as chairman, and Obama listened.

Gates says if Obama taps Mullen, he comes packed with military and political connections that could help bring about change to the V.A.

"Chiarelli and Mullen have great backgrounds for this position," Nicholson said, "and are both trusted and respected."

McChrystal is probably out of the running due to his going off the reservation in that Rolling Stone interview. He may be "dynamic" but Obama wants team players so he is not likely to be the one.

The fifth suggested choice is Rep. Tim Waltz of Minnesota, I can't see Obama reaching out to anyone in Congress for the job, but if he wanted to, he could do worse than Waltz, who has lambasted the VA in congressional hearings. Waltz is the highest ranking soldier ever to serve in Congress and knows how to get the job done.

Frankly, with the exception of Admiral Mullen who was a good Chairman of the JCS, there isn't much to choose from among the 5.


 

 

Now that he's been tossed under the bus, who will succeed Eric Shineski as Veterans Administration secretary?

It is currently the worst job in Washington, so few are lining up to be chosen. President Obama named Sloan Gibson as acting secretary, and he may eventually be in the mix for a permanent posting.

But whoever emerges as the president's choice will have to be prepared for scrutiny from congress and veterans organizations unlike any past secretary has had to cope with.

The Hill lists 5 possibles:

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.)

A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Reed could prove an ally to Obama in helping cool the bipartisan criticism coming from Congress about the scandal.

"He's been an enormous advocate for veterans," said Alex Nicholson, legislative director at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Reed, who is a West Point alum and served as an Army ranger, comes from a blue state, so if he were appointed, it wouldn't likely cost Democrats a Senate seat.

"I think Reed would get quite a lot of bipartisan support," said Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the right-leaning Cato Institute. "He's very popular among his colleagues."

Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal

Who better to lead an agency in desperate need of a comeback than someone whose ready for a comeback of his own?

McChrystal resigned from his position as a top commander in the Afghanistan war after he made critical remarks about Vice President Joe Biden in an interview with Rolling Stone

"He is much more dynamic than Shinseki," said Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and author of Serving America’s Veterans. "McChrystal is fearless. And he's honest -- that's what got him into trouble in the first place."

Retired Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli

Chiarelli served in the Obama administration as the former vice chief for the Army. He's now a retired four-star general, but has stayed active in veterans' issues. 

Chiarelli has advocated for mental health reform for Veterans as the executive director at One Mind, Nicholson said. 

"We think that's a growing issue that the V.A. is going to have to deal with," he said. "Chiarelli is a forward thinker."

Retired Admiral Michael Mullen

Mullen chaired the Joint Chiefs of Staff in both the Bush and Obama administrations. 

Then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates personally recommended to Obama that Mullen stay on from the Bush administration as chairman, and Obama listened.

Gates says if Obama taps Mullen, he comes packed with military and political connections that could help bring about change to the V.A.

"Chiarelli and Mullen have great backgrounds for this position," Nicholson said, "and are both trusted and respected."

McChrystal is probably out of the running due to his going off the reservation in that Rolling Stone interview. He may be "dynamic" but Obama wants team players so he is not likely to be the one.

The fifth suggested choice is Rep. Tim Waltz of Minnesota, I can't see Obama reaching out to anyone in Congress for the job, but if he wanted to, he could do worse than Waltz, who has lambasted the VA in congressional hearings. Waltz is the highest ranking soldier ever to serve in Congress and knows how to get the job done.

Frankly, with the exception of Admiral Mullen who was a good Chairman of the JCS, there isn't much to choose from among the 5.


 

 

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