The national security shuffle kicked off by Defense Secretary Bob Gates' retirement in June now appears to have come full circle.
This morning, Vice President Joe Biden swore in now-retired Gen. David Petraeus as the new director of the CIA. And an hour later, the White House sent out President Obama's statement of congratulations to Gates on being named the incoming chancellor of William & Mary University, his alma mater.
"As he did at Texas A&M and the Department of Defense, Bob will again help lead an institution devoted to our nation's most precious resource—our young men and women," Obama said in the statement, going on to wish Gates "the very best as he begins this new chapter" in his post-government career. (The previous time Gates retired from the government, as CIA director, he went on to become dean of Texas A & M; he then came back to government service to work as Defense secretary for President Bush in 2004.)
Meanwhile, Gates successor' at the helm of the Pentagon, Leon Panetta, most recently served as Obama's CIA director. Panetta has an extensive DC resume: He served as White House chief of staff and OMB chief for Bill Clinton, and as a lawmaker from California for two decades before that.
Hearings get under way this week for more key Obama national security appointees: Ash Carter has a confirmation hearing Thursday to become deputy defense secretary, to succeed Bill Lynn; Wendy Sherman testifies Wednesday before the Senate foreign relations panel to become undersecretary of State for policy. If confirmed, Sherman will succeed Bill Burns, who Secretary of State Hillary Clinton swears in this week as her deputy.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton herself got a rare moment of semi-downtime this weekend: Just back from a meeting of the international Contact Group on Libya in Paris Friday, she and Bill Clinton flew to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts Saturday for a brief Labor Day weekend respite. The former First Couple also attended a belated birthday party celebration for Bill Clinton, who turned 65 on August 19. Among the birthday bash guests: lawyer and golfing buddy Vernon Jordan, "Bourne Identity" and "Fair Game" director Douglas Liman, Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, and Philadelphia Eagles' owner Jeffrey Lurie, all serenaded by Carly Simon.