WASHINGTON (AP) — Barely a week after winning re-election, President Barack Obama's challenge in assembling a new national security team has been complicated by a scandal that has cost him a CIA chief.
Obama was already expecting to have to replace his chief diplomat, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and perhaps his defense secretary, Leon Panetta. Those two alone — plus Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who is also leaving — help shape Obama's thinking and represent him before the world. Now Obama is without his CIA director, David Petraeus, the once acclaimed military general in Iraq and Afghanistan who resigned in disgrace last week over an extramarital affair.
When asked if the personnel troubles were an unwelcome distraction, presidential spokesman Jay Carney said, quote, "I certainly wouldn't call it welcome."