President-elect Trump is filling out his cabinet picks, starting with important security positions, such as National Security Adviser, Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State. Some more picks are to be announced today.
Let’s take a look at a strong Defense Secretary possibility, with some biographical facts with which you can dazzle your Thanksgiving meal mates.
GEN. JAMES MATTIS: “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”
James “Mad Dog” Mattis, who was once on the list for a Trump vice presidential pick, is the odds-on favorite for Defense. He’s a Marine.
Side note: U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan is a Marine. Sullivan is trying to get a unit of Marines established in Alaska, and even brought the commandant of the Marines to Alaska this summer. So far, so good.
Gen. Mattis was born in Pullman, Wash. and is a northwesterner through and through, graduating from Columbia High School in Richland, Wash. in 1968.
A Marine who has never married nor had children, his other nickname is “The Warrior Monk” because of his bachelor life, and the fact he devoted his life to studying and fighting war. He is known to have carried a copy of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius throughout his deployments.
He also used to publish required reading lists for Marines under his command. President Obama appointed Mattis to replace General David Petraeus in 2010. Mattis retired in 2013.
ALASKA-FRIENDLY SECRETARY OF STATE? Another western-friendly guy, Mitt Romney, is a leading choice. Romney traveled to Alaska in 2014 to campaign for Sen. Dan Sullivan, and won Alaska’s electoral vote for president in 2012. He’s a favorite among many Alaska Republicans.
There’s also former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker. And some also-rans.
SEC. TREADWELL FOR INTERIOR? Mead Treadwell, Alaska’s former lieutenant governor, is in the mix for Department of Interior, joining the list of possibilities:
Jan Brewer, former Arizona governor
Mary Fallin, Oklahoma governor
Robert Grady, venture capitalist
Harold Hamm, Continental Resources chief executive
Forrest Lucas, Lucas Oil founder
Cynthia Lummis, Wyoming representative
Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor
Richard Pombo, former House National Resources Committee chairman