Leon Panetta: ultimate insider
Defense Secretary nominee Leon Panetta (photo by: CIA)
June 8th, 2011
04:03 PM ET

Leon Panetta: ultimate insider

Even by Washington's standards, Leon Panetta's resume portrays the ultimate insider - a smooth navigator of Congress, the federal budget, the White House and the CIA. He's worked for both Republican and Democratic presidents. And the CIA's role in last month's successful Osama bin Laden raid and the killing of America's Number One enemy, gave his solid gold credentials new lustre.

And now, after four decades of public service - and years after most people are long retired - the 72-year-old Panetta is taking on his most challenging job ever: Secretary of Defense, as the nation fights a grueling war in Afghanistan, extricates itself from Iraq, and the Arab world is imploding.

Panetta slides somewhat reluctantly into the witness chair on Thursday for what is expected to be a quick endorsement by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Friends say Panetta could never have refused the President, considering his rock-solid commitment to public service. But he didn't say yes right away, no doubt thinking about returning to Carmel Valley and the the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, based at California State University, Monterey Bay that he and his wife founded.

"Leon, I know that you've been looking forward to returning now to Sylvia and your beautiful Monterey, so I thank you for taking on yet another assignment for our country," Mr. Obama said when he formally announced Panetta's nomination in April.

"The patriotism and extraordinary management skills that have defined Leon's four decades of service is exactly what we need in our next Secretary of Defense," President Obama added.

And he understands how and where the money flows. As a Congressman he served as Chairman of the Budget Committee. He was director of the President Clinton's Office of Management and Budget and served as his Chief of Staff.

Maybe most important of all, he's someone President Obama trusts.

Jennifer Palmieri worked for Panetta on Capitol Hill and at the White House. She was an intern when she first signed on. "I thought everyone in Congress was like him. I was too young to realize everyone wasn't as talented and as energetic as he was."

She says the son of Italian immigrants has always held public service in the highest regard. Gates and Mr. Obama were able to tap into that. "Ultimately he's not going to say no," Palmieri said from her office at the Center for American Progress in Washington where she is Senior Vice President of Communications.

Panetta's strongest asset in wrestling the gigantic Pentagon bureaucracy, and the vast defense industry as well, is his willingness to work through the big problems, Palmieri suggests, pointing to big budget battles in his past.

"His mantra has always been -let everyone have his say," according to Palmieri. That means getting everyone together, and allowing everyone to make their points, even if critical of Panetta himself. "I think he would always say, you can't slam dunk anyone in the town."

"There's really not a very big ego there," Palmieri said. "He can have his moments but it more that he is so warm and engaging."

When tapping Panetta for the job, Mr. Obama praised him for standing up for his CIA employees. He is "utterly committed to straight talk with both his staff and the administration," said one intelligence insider, who requested anonymity. "(Panetta's) style connects with people in the building. He is people oriented and mission focused."

The intelligence source points out that Panetta's worked very closely with the Defense Department while he was at the CIA, and not just on the mission that brought down Osama bin Laden. Other top Al Qaeda leaders have been eliminated, including al Qaeda's former number three leader, Sheikh Said al-Masri. The CIA also uncovered the covert nuclear facility on Qom, Iran in 2009 and with the help of Saudi Arabia stopped the cargo bomb plot.

Of course there were setbacks too, including the double-agent suicide attack in Khost, Afghanistan that killed seven CIA employees.

Former Deputy CIA Director John McLaughlin said Panetta's tenure at CIA headquarters, where there are never any easy answers, will be valuable as he moves to the next post. "That's pretty good schooling for the kinds of decisions he is going to have to make at the Pentagon where budget cuts are obviously going to be necessary and difficult choices are going to be necessary," McLaughlin told CNN in April.

And Panetta brings special knowledge of working with the U.S. military on Afghanistan and Pakistan. "We've just come off of ten years where the CIA has been closer and more intimately connected to the military than anytime in its history," McLaughlin said. "There's a kind of intimacy between the military and the intelligence cultures that probably didn't exist 10-15 years ago."

His former Clinton White House colleague and Democratic strategist Paul Begala is also full of praise for Panetta. He says Panetta has definite advantages moving to the Pentagon. "He has substantial expertise. He has the ethical standards. And he has the relationship with the President," Begala said. "He has come through tough days and always came out clean."

And he has a knack for winning over enemies. Fran Townsend, who was counterterrorism advisor to President George W. Bush, tells how she had publicly opposed his nomination to lead the CIA.

Later, when they were sitting next to each other at a formal dinner, she told him she had been wrong. Panetta surprised her by immediately asking her to serve on the President's Intelligence Advisory Board. "I'll speak my mind," Townsend warned Panetta. "That's exactly what I need," Panetta replied.

Townsend says she was stunned. "He's made a fan out of a critic; not an easy job in Washington," Townsend said.

She says Panetta is direct when meeting with the President's Intelligence Board. "He is very transparent about the successes and failures of the Agency," she says

And she praised the budget expertise he will bring to the Pentagon table. "He's the right resume that the country and the President need, at the right moment," she says.

Some will say the Pentagon post with two wars, unexpected crises, and world travel demands a younger person in the top job. "Anybody who's been in his company would guess 63 rather than 73," Townsend said. Panetta was born June 23 1938. And he often talks about the importance of family.

"If confirmed, I will be relying heavily, as I always do, on the support of my wonderful family – my wife, Sylvia; my three sons, Chris, Carmelo, and Jim; their wives; and our six grandchildren," Panetta said at the White House in April. "In my 40 years of public life, they have been tolerant beyond measure, and very loving, and because of that I love them all very much."

With his reputation as a Washington consensus-builder, there are inevitable questions about whether Panetta is tough enough to stand up to the Pentagon brass.

Michael Cohen, senior fellow at the American Security Project points to a quote in the book, "Obama's Wars" by the Washington Post's Bob Woodward about how Panetta warned of the political costs of a Democratic Administration going against military advice.

"No Democratic president can go against military advice, especially if he asked for it," Woodward quoted Panetta as saying during deliberations over moving more U.S. troops to Afghanistan.

"That particular viewpoint is that Democrats are weak on national security issues and can't stand up to the military," Cohen said. "It suggests he misunderstands civilian-military relationship in this country and ..."I think that would be a good question to ask him (Panetta)," Cohen said.

Panetta boasts of his own military background. "I spent 40 years in public service, and it began when I served in the Army as an intelligence officer in the 1960s," Panetta said. "I was proud to wear the uniform of our country, and my respect and admiration for our nation's armed forces has only grown in the decades since."

As Secretary Gates finishes up his work at the Pentagon he praises Panetta as the best person to succeed him.

And Panetta picks up the unfinished business of the Gates era of keeping the strongest military in the world. "Yet this is also a time for hard choices. It's about ensuring that we are able to prevail in the conflicts in which we are now engaged," Panetta said at the White House.

"But it's also about being able to be strong and disciplined in applying our nation's limited resources to defending America. None of this will be easy, but I am confident, Mr. President, that you can be assured that I will give you, the nation's Commander-in-Chief, my best and most candid advice about these issues, and that I will be a faithful advocate for the brave men and women at the Department of Defense who put their lives on the line every day to ensure that we achieve that great American dream of giving our children a better life and a more secure America," Panetta said.

And his beloved California and his institute await his eventual return from Washington.

Dianne Harrison, President of California State University Monterey Bay, describes the benefits of having the Panetta Institute there, offering degrees in Public Policy, attracting prominent politicians and other VIP's for lectures and launching interns to Washington. She talks about the impact the Panettas have had on the campus and students. "He is a person of unrelenting energy and optimism," Harrison says about Panetta. And with all his accomplishments listed in his Washington resume, he is always ready to provide some individual inspiration to students.

"He has a natural touch," Harrison said. "He is very approachable."

And long-time friends like Palmieri predict that same trait will come in handy at the Pentagon, ready to talk to four-stars and privates as well. But when the door shuts, Panetta will be alone with his yellow legal pad, that she recalls from his previous posts, with the latest 'to do' list. Every night he runs down the list, revises it and set the priorities for the coming day. "He really, really does his homework," Palmieri says.

CNN's Pam Benson contributed to this story


soundoff (736 Responses)
  1. Bus Repair Shop Near Me

    After looking at a number of the blog articles on your web site, I truly appreciate your technique of blogging. I book marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my website too and tell me how you feel.


    June 27, 2021 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  2. happiness lab podcast

    This web site truly has all the information and facts I wanted about this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 27, 2021 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  3. Management Vs Leadership

    I seriously love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself? Please reply back as Iím looking to create my own site and want to find out where you got this from or what the theme is called. Thank you!


    June 27, 2021 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  4. lowe post podcast


    June 27, 2021 at 6:33 am | Reply
  5. duolingo podcast

    I blog often and I truly thank you for your information. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I will bookmark your site and keep checking for new information about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.


    June 27, 2021 at 6:28 am | Reply
  6. podcast mics


    June 27, 2021 at 2:17 am | Reply
  7. sleep podcast

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday. It's always helpful to read through articles from other writers and use something from their websites.


    June 27, 2021 at 12:03 am | Reply
  8. Army Leadership Requirements Model


    June 26, 2021 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  9. Importance Of Leadership


    June 26, 2021 at 10:41 pm | Reply
  10. Life Leadership

    After looking over a number of the blog posts on your web site, I really like your technique of writing a blog. I saved it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my website too and tell me what you think.


    June 26, 2021 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  11. Transactional Vs Transformational Leadership

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful article. Many thanks for providing these details.


    June 26, 2021 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  12. RV Repair Store Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  13. Verline Mcelhattan


    June 26, 2021 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  14. RV Repairs Nearby

    Hi there! This blog post could not be written any better! Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I am going to send this information to him. Fairly certain he's going to have a good read. Thank you for sharing!


    June 26, 2021 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  15. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa


    June 26, 2021 at 11:56 am | Reply
  16. Nearest RV Repair

    I was very pleased to uncover this great site. I need to to thank you for your time for this fantastic read!! I definitely savored every little bit of it and i also have you book marked to check out new things on your web site.


    June 26, 2021 at 10:26 am | Reply
  17. Best RV Repair Near Me

    Howdy, I do think your blog may be having internet browser compatibility issues. When I take a look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Besides that, fantastic site!


    June 26, 2021 at 8:02 am | Reply
  18. RV Satellite Repair Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 6:25 am | Reply
  19. Sprinter Repair Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 6:16 am | Reply
  20. Dominique Sukeforth


    June 26, 2021 at 1:57 am | Reply
  21. RV Repair Near Here


    June 26, 2021 at 1:09 am | Reply
  22. RV Repair Seal Beach


    June 25, 2021 at 11:05 pm | Reply
  23. RV Repair Orange County

    Having read this I thought it was rather informative. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    June 25, 2021 at 10:44 pm | Reply
  24. RV Suspension Repair Near Me

    Iím impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog thatís equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy that I stumbled across this in my hunt for something concerning this.


    June 25, 2021 at 10:26 pm | Reply
  25. RV Repair Near Here


    June 25, 2021 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  26. Camper Repair Shops Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  27. RV Tire Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  28. RV Exhaust Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  29. RV Repair Garden Grove

    Can I simply say what a relief to uncover someone who really knows what they are discussing online. You definitely know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people need to read this and understand this side of the story. It's surprising you aren't more popular since you definitely possess the gift.


    June 25, 2021 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  30. RV Windshield Repair Near Me

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you, However I am experiencing issues with your RSS. I donít know why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone else having identical RSS problems? Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    June 25, 2021 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  31. RV Repair Near My Location


    June 25, 2021 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  32. RV Satellite Repair Near Me

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It is the little changes which will make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    June 25, 2021 at 9:09 am | Reply
  33. RV Ac Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 8:10 am | Reply
  34. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 6:46 am | Reply
  35. solar panels orange county ca


    June 25, 2021 at 4:05 am | Reply
  36. RV Exhaust Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 11:15 pm | Reply
  37. RV Repair Services Near Me

    Itís hard to come by experienced people in this particular topic, but you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 24, 2021 at 9:55 pm | Reply
  38. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    Good day! I could have sworn Iíve visited this web site before but after browsing through some of the posts I realized itís new to me. Regardless, Iím definitely pleased I stumbled upon it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!


    June 24, 2021 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  39. RV Suspension Repair Near Me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It is the little changes that will make the largest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    June 24, 2021 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  40. RV Repair Shop


    June 24, 2021 at 8:59 pm | Reply
  41. RV Furnace Repair Near Me

    Itís hard to come by experienced people in this particular subject, but you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 24, 2021 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  42. RV Glass Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  43. RV Roof Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  44. Social Media Marketing Agency Around Me


    June 24, 2021 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  45. Social Media Marketing Agency Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 11:48 am | Reply
  46. shoprite near me

    Having read this I believed it was very enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

    https://trello.com/add-card?source=trello.com&mode=popup&url=bestshopnearme.com&name=Fix Incorrect Language Definition&desc=Change page language code accordingly. If you page has content in more than one language put code of the language that most content is written in. Found on https://bestshopnearme.com

    June 24, 2021 at 10:41 am | Reply
  47. Video Marketing Firms


    June 24, 2021 at 10:08 am | Reply
  48. Social Media Marketing Near Me

    There's certainly a lot to find out about this issue. I really like all of the points you have made.


    June 24, 2021 at 6:12 am | Reply
  49. bed bath and beyond near me


    June 24, 2021 at 4:39 am | Reply
  50. RV Body Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 4:13 am | Reply
  51. nursery near me

    There's certainly a lot to know about this issue. I really like all of the points you've made.


    June 24, 2021 at 3:27 am | Reply
  52. indeed jobs near me


    June 24, 2021 at 3:18 am | Reply
  53. Video Marketing Consultant

    Having read this I believed it was rather informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    June 24, 2021 at 12:55 am | Reply
  54. Digital Marketing Consultant Near Me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes which will make the greatest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    June 23, 2021 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  55. Video Marketing Service


    June 23, 2021 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  56. mcdonalds near me

    You made some good points there. I checked on the web to find out more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.


    June 23, 2021 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  57. RV Engine Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  58. Digital Marketing Consultant Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 11:19 am | Reply
  59. Social Media Marketing Consultants


    June 23, 2021 at 10:35 am | Reply
  60. RV Brake Repair Near Me

    I'm very happy to discover this page. I wanted to thank you for your time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every little bit of it and I have you saved to fav to check out new information in your site.


    June 23, 2021 at 9:23 am | Reply
  61. Social Media Marketing Agency Around Me

    I enjoy reading an article that can make people think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!


    June 23, 2021 at 6:42 am | Reply
  62. RV And Camper Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 6:20 am | Reply
  63. Internet Marketing Agencies Near Me

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and also the rest of the site is also very good.


    June 23, 2021 at 6:09 am | Reply
  64. Content Marketing Company


    June 23, 2021 at 5:57 am | Reply
  65. RV Camper Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 5:44 am | Reply
  66. Video Marketing Firms


    June 23, 2021 at 2:51 am | Reply
  67. Social Media Marketing Service

    This is a great tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very precise informationÖ Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!


    June 23, 2021 at 1:39 am | Reply
  68. Digital Marketing Consultant Near Me


    June 22, 2021 at 11:48 pm | Reply
  69. 24 Hour RV Repair Near Me

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been doing a little homework on this. And he actually bought me lunch due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this issue here on your site.


    June 22, 2021 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  70. Digital Marketing Consultants

    Iím impressed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog thatís both equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is something not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy that I came across this in my hunt for something relating to this.


    June 22, 2021 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  71. Digital Marketing Specialists

    There is definately a lot to know about this issue. I like all of the points you've made.


    June 22, 2021 at 6:48 pm | Reply
  72. Sprinter Van Restoration Shop


    June 22, 2021 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  73. 2006 Mercedes Sprinter 2500 Turbo Actuator Repair

    When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment. Is there a way you can remove me from that service? Cheers!


    June 22, 2021 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  74. personal group


    June 22, 2021 at 6:21 am | Reply
  75. goal setting group

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on this. And he in fact bought me dinner because I discovered it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to discuss this issue here on your internet site.


    June 22, 2021 at 5:41 am | Reply
  76. Commercial Van Repair


    June 22, 2021 at 4:47 am | Reply
  77. Sprinter Return Line Repair

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe this amazing site needs far more attention. Iíll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the information!


    June 22, 2021 at 4:10 am | Reply
  78. Handicap Van Ramp Repair

    Right here is the right webpage for anyone who wishes to understand this topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need toÖHaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic which has been discussed for decades. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!


    June 22, 2021 at 1:11 am | Reply
  79. martial arts near me

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and also the rest of the site is also really good.


    June 21, 2021 at 11:58 pm | Reply
  80. RV And Trailer Repair Near Me

    Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to make a good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.


    June 21, 2021 at 11:03 pm | Reply
  81. 2003 Sprinter Ac Repair


    June 21, 2021 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  82. Luxury Van Repair Shop


    June 21, 2021 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  83. Rueben Soltes

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs


    June 21, 2021 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  84. RV Repair Parts Near Me

    Aw, this was a very good post. Finding the time and actual effort to make a superb articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a whole lot and don't manage to get nearly anything done.


    June 21, 2021 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  85. Ram High Top Van Repair Shop

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post! It's the little changes that will make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!


    June 21, 2021 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  86. grocery delivery near me

    Hi, I do believe this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will revisit once again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.


    June 21, 2021 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  87. fast food near me

    There is certainly a lot to know about this subject. I love all of the points you've made.


    June 21, 2021 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  88. homegoods near me

    Itís difficult to find well-informed people in this particular subject, but you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 21, 2021 at 9:41 am | Reply
  89. hospitals near me

    You have made some decent points there. I checked on the internet for additional information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.


    June 21, 2021 at 8:02 am | Reply
  90. massages near me

    Itís hard to find knowledgeable people on this subject, however, you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 21, 2021 at 6:58 am | Reply
  91. domino's pizza near me

    I love reading through an article that will make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!


    June 21, 2021 at 5:24 am | Reply
  92. boost mobile near me


    June 21, 2021 at 3:02 am | Reply
  93. RV Repair Shops Near Me


    June 21, 2021 at 2:02 am | Reply
  94. chase near me


    June 20, 2021 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  95. Barney Economos

    Next time I read a blog, I hope that it won't disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I truly believed you would probably have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you could possibly fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.


    June 20, 2021 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  96. Lucrecia Stankey


    June 20, 2021 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  97. Delfina Vanconant

    Iím impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog thatís equally educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy that I stumbled across this during my search for something concerning this.


    June 20, 2021 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  98. Cristopher Grunden


    June 20, 2021 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  99. Taisha Wire

    You should be a part of a contest for one of the greatest websites online. I'm going to highly recommend this blog!


    June 20, 2021 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  100. Digital Marketing Consultant Near Me

    You're so interesting! I don't believe I've read a single thing like that before. So great to discover another person with genuine thoughts on this topic. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality!


    June 20, 2021 at 10:57 am | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.