TRANSFER RUMOR: Hillary Clinton Considered For Secretary Of Defense

Ben Smith at Politico is floating the rumor that Hillary Clinton is being considered to replace Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense.

Gates, for his part, has saved Clinton from a different kind of marginalization by a powerful White House staff, which has a sometimes-rocky relationship with her own staff of loyalists, a residue of the bitter 2008 campaign. He’s offered her a potent back channel to power and — some of her most political allies have told other Democrats — a path forward inside the administration. Gates, who has long signaled an eagerness to retire, just launched what appears to be his final initiative, a tough push to scale back the Pentagon’s gargantuan bureaucracy. Clinton, with her hawkish image and ties to Gates and to military brass, would be his most logical successor — and some of her most senior allies have begun quietly to float the notion.

Appointed by Dubya in late 2006, Gates is the only Secretary of Defense in history to be held over from a previous administration. But who would replace Hillary as Secretary of State?

(Tipped by JMG reader Band)