As expected, President Obama has appointed Ashton Carter to replace Chuck Hagel as the fourth Secretary of Defense in his administration.
At this point, I don’t think it really matters who Obama appoints to the position. Carter was not Obama’s first choice. Neither Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed nor Michèle Flaunroy wanted the job because of White House micromanagement that stymied Hagel and before him Leon Panetta and Bob Gates.
As Emily Zanotti wrote here the other day, “Ash Carter” is far too close to “Ashton Kutcher” for my tastes.” For all the influence Carter would have in formulating defense policy, President Obama might as well have appointed Ashton Kutcher as his next Secretary of Defense. The only difference is that Kutcher might ask, “Dude, where’s our tanks?”