I posted a lengthy profile about Robert Gates recently, but this one is much more relevant to the position he’s vying for.
…heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s long been a major player in Republican national security circles, first as a Russian specialist on President Gerald FordÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s White House National Security Council in 1974, then eventually at the CIA, where he held a handful of senior positions before being tapped to be its chief by the first President Bush, in 1991.
And it wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t the first time heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d been nominated for the post ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? or his first dose of trouble in the spotlight.
In early 1987, his role in the so-called Iran-Contra affair, a secret White House operation to sell weapons to radical Islamic Iran in exchange for the release of U.S. hostages ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? and cash for CIA-backed rebels in Nicaragua ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? came under scrutiny.
Gates withdrew his nomination in the face of sure rejection.
So what to make of that? Is the Iran-Contra scandal behind us? Can we trust him to do right where Rumsfeld done wrong?
Here seems to be the upside…
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe most important thing may not be BobÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Intel background, but his experience back in the Bush 41 days when the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“DeputiesÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ CommitteeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ worked at its best ever ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? Defense, State, CIA, NSC,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? Bearden said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThat group held a government together when it was trying to pull off one of the trickiest moves since WWII: the denouement of the USSR, the reunification of Germany inside NATO, and cleaning up after the half century engagement of the Cold War.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe crux of it,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? Bearden added, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œis that he knows how to make a national security team work.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?
So where Donald failed, Robert could make it work.