Skip to comments.SHINSEKI IS OUT AT THE VA: Here Are 12 People Who Could Replace Him
Posted on 05/30/2014 11:48:47 AM PDT by Lower Deck
President Barack Obama today accepted the resignation of embattled VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.
It was an unfortunate end to a remarkable career of public service that lasted roughly half a century.
Shinsekis departure comes amid widespread charges of corruption and ineptitude at VA hospitals across the country. And it leaves a glaring question who is next to lead the VA?
Theres no doubt the VA needs help, so who could take the reigns from Shinseki and provide the organization with the leadership it needs to serve the nations veterans? We compiled a shortlist:
1. Jim Webb
The Marine and former Navy Cross recipient from the Vietnam War has been a prominent figure in veterans affairs for 40 years. He served as secretary of the navy under President Reagan and most recently as a U.S. senator from Virginia, where he was the architect of the G.I. Bill for post-9/11 veterans. His son is also a veteran of the war in Iraq. Hes been successful in basically everything hes ever done, and all of that has been geared toward helping veterans. Hes just the kind of no-nonsense leader the VA needs, if he isnt set on running for president
2. Stan McChrystal
A retired Army four-star general who last commanded coalition forces in Afghanistan, McChrystal knows first hand the costs of the last 13 years of war. Though he fell out with the Obama administration after a scathing Rolling Stone article, he later partnered with the president to help run Joining Forces, the presidents initiative for military families. McChrystal has been a transformative leader and revolutionized the way Joint Special Operations Command worked with other government agencies. If he could do something similar at the VA, he could be the perfect man for the job.
3. Tammy Duckworth
A wounded veteran of the Iraq War who now represents Illinois 8th congressional district as a democrat, Duckworth represents the very veterans that need the VA the most. She also has direct experience working for the VA, both as the director for the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, and later in Washington as assistant secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs.
4. Mike Mullen
Mullen last served as the presidents chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and in doing so, was the presidents chief uniformed military adviser. After retiring from 43 years in uniform, Mullen has turned his attention to the private sector, serving on the board of General Motors and other corporations. He has the name recognition and authority and experience to lead the VA.
5. Max Cleland
Cleland currently serves as secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission, and in doing so, is a prominent public official in the veterans community. He is a former democratic senator from Georgia, the only democrat to ever serve a full term in the senate. A decorated Vietnam veteran, Cleland is also a wounded warrior, having lost both legs from a grenade blast in Vietnam.
6. James Mattis
No list of prominent veteran leaders is complete without retired Marine Gen. Jim Mattis, who last served as the head of U.S. Central Command. Since his retirement, he has been an outspoken proponent of veterans issues, including recently railing against the perception of veterans as victims. In addition to being a legendary leader, Mattis would be an absolute icon at the head of the VA.
7. Paul Rieckhoff
As the executive director and founder of Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America, Rieckhoff is a prominent voice in support of modern veterans. Hed be an intriguing figure to launch the VA from obscurity and give it a face for the 21st century.
8. Patrick Murphy
An Iraq War veteran and attorney, Murphy was the first veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan to serve in Congress, representing Pennsylvanias 8th congressional district from 2006 through 2011. President Obama appointed him to the U.S. military academys board of advisors in 2011. He currently hosts an occasional program on MSNBC called Taking the Hill. Hes a pioneer for modern veterans and has the legislative and leadership experience the VA needs.
9. Holly Petraeus
The wife to retired general and former CIA director David Petraeus, Holly Petraeus has been a part of the military community her entire life. Her father, Gen. William Knowlton, was the superintendent of West Point while David Petraeus was enrolled there. In 2011, she joined the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to lead the Office of Servicemember Affairs.
10. Tommy Sowers
The former special forces soldier just left a leadership position at the VA where he served as assistant secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. He holds a doctorate in economics from the London School of Economics. He was the Democratic nominee for Congress in 2010 for Missouris 8th congressional district. He deployed twice to Iraq. A young, modern veteran, he also has the knowledge of VA infrastructure and the energy to transform the institution.
11. Bob Kerrey
Kerrey is a former Navy Seal, a Medal of Honor recipient, a longtime senator from the state of Nebraska, and most recently the president of the New School in New York City. He has the leadership, the experience, the resume, and the know how to lead the VA under the very difficult circumstances it currently faces.
12. Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard, a Democrat representing Hawaiis 2nd congressional district, is a rising star in the military community and the Democratic party. She is a member of the Hawaii National Guard and deployed twice to the Middle East, including a 12-month tour with a medical unit in Iraq, where she worked with many of the injuries the VA deals with on a daily basis.
Anyone who hates the military with a vengeance would be “qualified.”
Those two might actually be able to fix the problem. Thus, they will never be selected by this administration.
How about Lt. General Robb? He is presently the director of the Defense Health Agency so he has more experience than any of those 12.
If anything, don’t be suprised if the VA is rolled into DHA. There are numerous linkages between the two organizations.
But that’s my dos centavos.
The problems at the VA cannot and will not be fixed by changing the top guy - they are structural and cultural and so will continue to fester. Most government operations have the same problem.
Strange thing that Carney and Shinseki were announced really early for a Friday News dump but is was predicted on the “Five” yesterday.
There is one person who would be perfect to run the VA, and most importantly, fix it...Mitt Romney
Ken, I was just going to say Mitt.
Nawww, he doesn’t loathe the military enough to be given any job by the Obambi regime.
Obama would never nominate him.
Anyone with expereince running a profitable business?
Rats leaving the sinking Titanic—A new guy will just hold off the attacks and do cosmetic changes only—2016 and a new Republican President is needed. Lots of heads must roll!
Don’t replace him; shut down the VA and use vouchers.
The VA needs a SEC with lots of experience as a large hospital administrator with hiring and firing authority at all levels.
Unfortunately, Obama’s pick will be purely political. He’ll pick a person based on their loyalty to him and the Marxist playbook.
Webb has a new book out, and naming him might remove a Clinton competitor.
That would be true regardless of who was in the White House.
Holly Petraeus-——just because her father and husband were military?
I'll agree with you on the authority but I don't think the next secretary necessarily has to come from the health care field. You can hire that talent. The Secretary needs to be a firm, proven, hands-on leader who is willing to get to the bottom of the mess and use their authority to clean house and set things straight. Problem is that even if Obama were to choose someone like Mattis or Webb and he went to Congress and requested that the new Secretary be given the authority to hire and fire and clean house, the legislation would have little chance of passage.
That experience would be little help against a bureaucracy as entrenched as that at the VA.
Obama will PUT another AA in the position...note that AA already run Homeland sec/ Justice/ Freddie/Fannie/
Don't be overly impressed. It didn't take a genius to realize that Shinseki's days were numbered, and Carney has been talking about leaving for some time.
Unless the right secretary is appointed and given the authority to clean house. Unfortunately I don't see that happening.
Max Cleland WAS Administrator of Veterans Affairs from January 20, 1977 toJanuary 20, 1981, under President Jimmy Carter.
Does he need a 2nd dip at the well?
Mattis is the only one worth a damn. Webb served honorably in Vietnam (and he’s a pretty fair writer), but he was a flop as both Navy Secretary and a Senator. Can’t get along with anyone, and gets bored with his assigned duties (or sees them as beneath him). Webb resigned as Navy Secretary so Reagan wouldn’t have to fire him. Not the guy you need to fix the VA.
General Mattis would only be effective if he had the authority to completely clean house and fire hundreds of incompetent and corrupt bureaucrats. But Obama will never allow that; the VA has a unionized workforce, and those public employee unions will never stand for reforms that would actually work. In fact, it was revealed the other day that the VA has dozens of senior employees—on the public payroll—who spend all of their time on union activities.
The best hope for VA healthcare is to implement a voucher system, allowing vets to utilize private doctors and hospitals. Unfortunately, that system will quickly become riddled with corruption, much like Medicaid and Medicare.
Addendum: overall, a very unimpressive list. One final thought: the last person we need running the VA is Holly Petraeus. She’s one of the architects of the “military education reforms” that have made a hash of voluntary education for active duty personnel and vets.
Jim Webb is his #1? I quit reading. He’s a tool.
I suggest Col. Allen West. Heads would roll.
I’m sorry, but the VA doesn’t need a good manager right now. What they need is an interim head chopper. A guy who can come in and fire the people who need to be fired and isn’t afraid of lawsuits. I’d find some nasty old guy with two years to live, and turn him loose.
"Great speech... now What?"
Removing the head is symbolic at best. My 'ol lady works as an RN for the VA and we're both vets. I find it very disgraceful that some bureaucrats pulled this crap and their collective heads should roll (along with loads of others in this leviathan we call .gov) Her office is not in this mess. They're running legit and best they can with what they have. She sincerely does the best she can every day to help these guys within the system. Even with them yelling at her and not doing their part to get the help they need, or helping themselves (complying with treatment). They are under staffed and the hiring process is a nightmare (took her over 6 months). The trouble, as I see it, lies in the bureaucracy and union entanglements (say it ain't so). She is not union. But I've seen the union help where some middle management tried to over step their bounds. Mainly because they're....wait for it... short of help.
We ride with the Patriot Guard and have been on vet supporting trips with others who also work there. We support our vets when and where we can.
I know guys like it simple and it's so much easier to simplify things by just saying ta he!! with the whole thing and let's burn the chief at the stake. I see this, "simplification", applied in many areas here and everywhere. And as much as I'd like it to be that simple, nothing ever is. (Pick one. Race, religion, left, right, whatever) So keep in mind that there's a lot of good people working at the VA before you simply damn the whole thing or go in for an appt loaded for bear over this thing. The little red-headed nurse behind the desk just might be my ol' lady, and she's one of the good guys in the middle of this big bureaucratic chit stew. And belive it or not, she's from the government and she's here to help...really!
And keep in mind that with all these "headlines" here lately, there's always 3 sides to every story (this side, that side, and the truth).
Flame away, FReepers. -Schneeks. d:^)
The entire list is wrong...
Sloan Gibson, Shinseki’s deputy at the VA...
Im sorry, I have my doubts about this one...
To be honest, I am not sure anyone would be convinced by any appointment at this point, because nothing tangible has been to clean the systemic problems...
Keep in mind, I believe the problems are not total with the VA, there are regions with facilities that ARE doing the right thing...
There are obviously facilities that are doing horrendous things in their positions within that organization...It will not be hard to find them, and deal with them accordingly...
I still believe the fix is already in place within the VAs charter...Congress passed that fix in recent history, and it was left to each region to implement in their own way...
THAT is where it can be easy to see where the deficiencies are...
Remember the president said he has a phone and a pen...This would be a good time to exercise those tools...In the interests of our Veterans, it would be a political bucket of water on the fire of the masses with short attention spans...
But far be it for me to state the obvious...
No...No...Please take him...
Just take him!!!
I have seen a lot of people walk away from this Administration. And without exception, each and every time that happens, they end up being replaced by someone even worse.