Nightmare alert: Jeh Johnson now on SECDEF short list

Nightmare alert: Jeh Johnson now on SECDEF short list

Johnson is part of a field that’s said to include Bob Work and Ash Carter, the current and former deputy secretaries of defense, as well as Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James. And Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, is still another possibility. …

Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the incoming top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy…have said they don’t want the job. …

All of Obama’s nominees are expected to have a tough time in the Republican-controlled Senate next year, but confirming a replacement at DHS might be especially rocky following Obama’s executive order on immigration, which enraged many Republicans.

Mabus, meanwhile, is a longtime Democratic loyalist who has been Navy secretary since 2009. Obama asked him to develop a Gulf Coast restoration plan after the 2010 BP oil spill. And, more recently, he’s attracted scrutiny for spending nearly $5 million on travel around the world. …

Mabus’ support for alternative energy programs also has irked oil-state members in the House and Senate.

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