Panetta sailing through Senate confirmation
June 14th, 2011
02:15 PM ET

Panetta sailing through Senate confirmation

With friends like these, how can Panetta miss?

President Obama’s nominee for Defense Secretary, long-time Washington insider and DIA Director Leon Panetta, is sailing forward.

The Senate Armed Services Committee, which spent Thursday in good-natured questioning of Panetta, gave his nomination a unanimous voice-vote approval today.

Moment earlier, the two most powerful men on the committee, Chairman Carl Levin (D) Michigan and Ranking Member John McCain, (R) Arizona, joked around about Panetta and his confirmation vote.

“I'm objecting to it,” McCain said with a big smile for the cameras and thejournalists who spend their days questioning lawmakers. “Mr. Panetta, he did such a poor job before the committee a couple days ago. It was terrible!”

Levin butted in, standing shoulder to shoulder. “Let me interpret this, will ya? There will be a vote off the floor and I’m sure Senator McCain will be leading the “aye” vote,” Levin said. “You don’t mind that slight interpretation.”

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Filed under: Intelligence • Panetta • Secretary of Defense
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