Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Senate Democrats React To Obama Security Team

President-elect Barack Obama announced his national security team yesterday, in a big event that included making it official that Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is his nominee for Secretary of State.

Obama also announced that current Defense Secretary Robert Gates would stay on in his administration, while saying that he would nominate Susan Rice as United Nations Ambassador, retired Marine General James Jones as his National Security Adviser, Eric Holder as Attorney General and Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano as Homeland Security Director.

Here's some reactions from Senate Democrats.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

“President-elect Obama has announced a strong, bipartisan and highly competent team to protect America’s national security interests. This remarkable group of men and women demonstrates the new Administration’s commitment to countering adversaries and confronting threats with every tool at our disposal – our military might, diplomatic strength and moral authority. Democrats and Republicans alike agree that with these extraordinary nominees, we will begin to make Americans more secure and restore America’s leadership around the globe.”

Chris Dodd (D-CT)

“I applaud President-Elect Obama’s nomination of an experienced national security team. Hillary Clinton, James Jones, Robert Gates, Janet Napolitano, Eric Holder, and Susan Rice each have a proven record of pragmatic problem-solving and bipartisan cooperation on a host of complex challenges to U.S. national security.

“With Senator Clinton as Secretary of State and General Jones as National Security Advisor, United States foreign policy will again combine the best of our soft and hard powers, rebuilding our effectiveness and moral authority around the world. I look forward to Secretary-Elect Clinton's rapid approval by the Senate, and to working closely with her and the rest of this talented national security team.”

Ted Kennedy (D-MA)

"Throughout her distinguished career in public service, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has earned the respect and admiration of millions around the globe. She is a hardworking public servant who cares deeply about our country. This is an outstanding nomination and I look forward very much to working with President-elect Obama and Secretary-designate Clinton to restore America's standing in the world."

Evan Bayh (D-IN)

“In the national security realm, it takes experience and continuity to bring about real and lasting change. The outstanding team assembled by President-elect Obama is uniquely capable of harnessing all of the tools of American power to advance our security interests… This experienced team will help the Obama administration recapture our best traditions of strong and pragmatic American leadership in a dangerous world.”

Ben Cardin (D-MD)

"President-elect Obama has chosen bold, talented and experienced leaders to carry out his national security policy and help keep the American public safe and our country secure. His selections reinforce my deep belief that Barack Obama's steady hand and good judgment is exactly what we need at this time to put our country back on course and restore our leadership in the world.

"As President-elect Obama stated, Americans will once again stand proud in the world as a responsible member of the global community and a moral example of peace and stability."

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

"In Senator Clinton, President-Elect Obama has chosen a Secretary of State who will help restore the world's confidence and faith in our nation. She brings massive international recognition and clout, and clearly understands President-elect Obama's strategy for a strong, clear change in America's message to the world. This was a wise and exciting choice.

"Our new Attorney General must restore the Justice Department's proud tradition of independence and excellence, and insulate it from improper pressure even when it comes from the White House. No one will fill that role more capably than Eric Holder. I served in the Clinton Administration with Mr. Holder, and can attest to his vast experience, his calm judgment, his legal skill, and his unswerving loyalty to the Department and its principles. I have no doubt that he will offer the independent, wise leadership necessary to repair the terrible damage of the Bush years. He has my enthusiastic support."

Bob Casey (D-PA)

“President-elect Obama today announced an incredibly impressive group of experienced, pragmatic individuals who will be ready from Day One to begin repairing our nation’s broken foreign policy. They will restore robust diplomatic engagement with the international community while maintaining the strongest, most capable military in the world.

“These picks build on the trends we have seen in earlier appointments, including his economic team last week: the President-elect recognizes that our nation faces a grave set of challenges, both at home and abroad, and he is choosing the most capable individuals to help him meet those challenges, regardless of party affiliation or past differences."

Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

“President-elect Obama today announced a national security team that is just what America needs – this impressive group represents strength, smarts and a deep commitment to keeping our nation safe and prosperous. He understands the very serious threats we face and believes we need new strategies that integrate all elements of American power – from intelligence to law enforcement to diplomacy. It is clear our incoming Commander-in-Chief believes an experienced team will help advance his global agenda and sends a message that he intends to work across the aisle in a bipartisan way. I look forward to working with this extremely impressive team on day one to tackle the very serious national security challenges we face.”

John Kerry (D-MA)

“President-elect Obama has chosen a terrific national security team to protect our security and help restore America’s rightful place in the world. General Jones and Governor Napolitano are bright, strategic thinkers dedicated to the security of the nation.

"Eric Holder will lend integrity and experience to the Justice Department. Secretary Gates brings not just institutional knowledge but a keen understanding of the global challenge we face, Susan Rice is a sharp, trusted foreign policy mind who will bring an incredible ability and energy to the United Nations, and as Secretary of State, my friend and colleague Hillary Clinton will bring her years of experience and her remarkable intellect to the effort to restore our alliances and advance the President’s agenda in the world."