President Obama's economic and management team aren't the only ones charting their course to the exits as the midterms roll around. Pentagon chief Bob Gates has been saying he wants to leave almost since he took the job back at the tail end of the Bush administration. He has said he hopes to retire by 2011. Our insiders mention these possible successors.
1. Bob Kerrey. This former senator and governor of Nebraska won the Medal of Honor for his service in Vietnam. After politics, he became president of the New School University in New York.
2. Sen. Jack Reed. Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed is a senior member of the Armed Services Committee and a former Army Ranger. He was a paratrooper with the illustrious 82nd Airborne Division and found time to earn degrees from West Point, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and Harvard Law School.
3. Richard Danzig. This veteran lawyer served as President Clinton's Navy Secretary and has served as an advisor to President Obama. He's currently the chairman of the Center for a New American Security, a national security think-tank.
4. Hillary Clinton. The former first lady and senator from New York seems mighty comfortable over there in Foggy Bottom. But our insiders say that she's long been on the list of possible heavyweights to tackle the job of running the country's largest bureaucracy. Besides, it'd make a good résumé builder for a second presidential run.
5. Gen. Hugh Shelton. Serious-thinking and highly decorated career military officer served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1997- 2001. He served as an adviser to former Sen. John Edwards during his presidential run in 2003 and endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primaries.