Really. Maybe this is a stretch, but maybe it is connecting the dots.
The chatter has now made it to Newsweek that Obama is considering appointing William White, chief operating officer of Manhattan’s Intrepid Museum Foundation, as the next Secretary of the Navy. White is openly gay, so placing him in the Navy Secretary’s job would be an enormous symbolic statement and substantive move. (Sec Navy is a civilian job, so don’t ask/don’t tell doesn’t apply.).
White has strong support among many former military leaders, most prominently retired Gen. Hugh Shelton, the Joint COS Chair from 1997 to 2001. Shelton has said that White “would be phenomenal,” and has praised White’s work as “legendary.”
White’s qualifications for the job include his work at the Intrepid, where he has accumulated extensive contacts in the armed forces, and his years as fundraiser for the Intrepid Museum Foundation. In 1996, he was awarded the Meritorious Public Service Award for his work with the Navy.
You’d have to figure that if Obama appoints White, having Shelton’s strong and public backing would be critical.
Shelton despises Clark, a point he made very clear in the New Yorker’s 2003 profile, which was rightfully denounced as an anti-Clark hit job:
Shelton has recently and famously said, in a public forum, that Clark’s firing “had to do with integrity and character issues,” adding that, for that reason, “Wes won’t get my vote.”
Now, Shelton has never spelled out what he meant by that, which probably means that there is nothing there at all: it’s an old-fashioned personality conflict (which Clark, to his credit, has never engaged in.).
So connecting the dots might yield: Obama appoints White, Shelton runs interference, and Clark is left out in the cold. As Mark is fond of saying: politics ain’t beanbag.