Obama Picks Philadelphia Native As New Defense Secretary

Obama will nominate Ashton Carter, who graduated from Abington High School in 1972, to replace Chuck Hagel as defense secretary.

Ashton Carter, a native of Philadelphia and a 1972 graduate of Abington High School, is expected to become the next Secretary of Defense. Carter was formerly the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer and has a doctorate in theoretical physics from the University of Oxford.

President Barack Obama ousted Chuck Hagel, who had been defense secretary since February 2013, last week. The New York Times reports Carter “is the only one of several top prospects who did not take himself out of the running for the job.” To quote Homer Simpson, “Default? Woo-hoo! The two sweetest words in the English language!”

After graduating from Abington, Carter went to Yale for his undergrad work. He was Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs under Bill Clinton and held various jobs in the Obama administration. He was most recently Deputy Secretary of Defense from 2011 to 2013.

“He is somebody who deserves and has demonstrated strong bipartisan support for his previous service in government,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters yesterday. “He has a detailed understanding of the way the Department of Defense works.”

Carter was inducted into Abington High’s hall of fame in 1989. He has never served in the military.

The pick is considered non-controversial, as several Senate Republicans have already said they would support the nomination of Carter.

[Inquirer | NYT]