Ashton Carter: Superhero of the Sequester

February 28, 2013

Raise your hand if you can tell me who Ashton Carter is.
 
Wrong! He is not the hot but mediocre model turned actor who rose to fame via a mélange of cheesy TV shows, clever self-promotion, and a seven-year marriage to Demi Moore.
 
Ashton Carter is, rather, the current deputy secretary of defense of these United States—and something of an anti-celebrity. Graying, bland, and bespectacled, he looks largely indistinguishable from thousands of other frumpy middle-aged white guys running the government. Likewise, Carter’s C.V. is the meaty but unsexy tribute to overachievement that you’d expect from a national-security überwonk: Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics; Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy; member of the Defense Science Board; member of the Defense Policy Board; member of the International Security Advisory Board. Counted among The New Republic’s 2011 list of “Washington’s Most Powerful, Least Famous People,” the dep sec is the sort of guy who makes think tankers’ hearts flutter but whom the average American wouldn’t give a second glance if he walked around trailed by the Marine Corps band.

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