Panetta Won't Step Down as Defense Secretary Right Away

Panetta Won't Step Down as Defense Secretary Right Away

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is making it clear that he’s not going anywhere soon, amid talk of possible replacements for Obama’s second term.

Days ago, the Obama administration floated a trial balloon regarding Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) in Panetta’s Cabinet position, and other names have been mentioned as well.

But Panetta says there “are tasks ahead he wants to tackle” before stepping down from his position. Among these are the sequester cuts and future plans for Afghanistan. 

Beyond this, he says he must sit down with the President to finalize his departure.

Panetta explains that although he indicated he would not serve through Obama’s second term, that did not mean he would step down as soon as the second term began.

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