Pentagon Insiders Seen as Most Likely Successors for Panetta at DoD
November 8, 2012
Speculation over who will replace Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has reached a fevered pitch following President Obama reelection Tuesday.
After serving a full four years in the Obama administration, Panetta is expected to depart early into Obama's second term in the spring or summer of 2013, defense sources say.
But before he heads back to his home in sunny Monterey, Calif., Panetta will likely help the administration through its difficult sequestration fight and usher in the 2014 defense budget that’s currently stuck in limbo over the automatic cuts.
Obama’s victory triggered an immediate wave of rumors about the potential successors for Panetta, with two names — Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter and former Undersecretary for Policy Michele Flournoy — rising to the top of the list. Both Carter and Flournoy were considered leading candidates well before Obama was reelected.