I have always liked Leon Panetta. He's human, smart, generally straightforward. I dealt with him a number of times when I was working in the Senate for Senator Jeff Bingaman -- and Leon never steered me wrong.
But I've always found it a bit amusing that Leon Panetta serves as "Institute Director" of the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy at Cal State Monterey Bay. Leon Panetta also serves on the Board of Directors of the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute which hosts each year the Leon Panetta Lecture Series and which also is home to the Leon E. Panetta Archive.
Maybe -- but innocent til proven guilty -- Charlie Rangel was trying to get a gig like this going. Only problem is that Rangel is still in office -- and at least Leon and his wife Sylvia have built this public policy center on their own time -- and it's nowhere near as self-branding as the "Clinton Global Inititiave".
Well, Barack Obama has had to jump through quite a few names -- one of them a good friend of mine who no doubt will be DCI in a few more rounds -- to settle on Leon Panetta as his new Director of Central Intelligence.
My only question is will we be naming the CIA the Leon E. Panetta Central Intelligence Agency?
Offered in humor. . .
-- Steve Clemons publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note