Monthly Archives: October 2012

Grading Obama’s Cabinet, first up Robert Gates

4 years ago, I wrote up a blog post about the president’s new cabinet and how to remember their names. Here is my report card on how they did.


Robert Gates – “R” for Republican not “B” as in Bill for “Billions”

United States Secretary of Defense – re-appointed by President Obama even though he was a Republican. Retired in April 2011 and replaced by Leon Panetta. He is now the Chancellor of College of William and Mary.

Grade: A+ on the virtue of ending the war in Iraq, and winning awards such as Best Leader by U.S. News and World Report, and one of the year’s most influential people by Time Magazine. He was appointed by bi-partison and almost unanimous vote – only Rick Santorum and Jim Bunning voted against him. Gates fired a bunch of top brass when the Walter Reed Army Medical Center neglect scandal was brought to the spotlight. Weakness: did not end the war in Afghanistan.

Robert Gates over-saw the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell”, saying it was a matter of “common sense and common decency” to end it.  He did not want to be secretary of state during an election year, so he retired on July 1, 2011 after recieving the nation’ highest civilian award – The Presidential Medal of Freedom.


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