Chief of Staff

With regard to the Panetta situation, it’s worth noting that not only has it never been the case that the CIA Director must be a career intelligence professional, it’s also long been the case that past service as a White House Chief of Staff has been viewed as a wide-ranging qualification for future public office. Alexander Haig became Secretary of State. Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney both went on to serve as Secretary of Defense. James Baker become Secretary of Treasury and Secretary of State. There’s nothing unusual about the idea that service in that job qualifies people for senior national security positions.