BREAKING: Obama releases LFBC (Also: Panetta to take over the Pentagon, Petraeus to become CIA chief)

This just in.

The WH has released Obama’s long form birth certificate. That link will take you directly to the WH blog.

From CNN’s political ticker:

(CNN) – The White House released President Obama’s original birth certificate Wednesday.

The surprise release follows recent and sustained remarks by businessman Donald Trump, among others, that raised doubts as to whether the president was born in the United States.

Read it and weep, birthers/suckers:

Obama’s birth certificate [PDF]

Well timed, Obama. Very well, timed.

As I said yesterday in The War on Legitimate Dissent, this whole birther/secret Muslim explosion has been one huge distraction… and the President has just lobbed the ultimate pie in the face of the GOP.

Donald Trump, ever the blowhard, says he’s done his job… touche:

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Trump said, “I have accomplished something nobody else has accomplished.”

“I want to look at it, but I hope it’s true,” he added. “He should have done it a long time ago. I am really honored to have played such a big role in hopefully getting rid of this issue.”

More from the CNN link:

Earlier Wednesday, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said the debate has been “really bad for the Republican Party.”

The so-called “birther” debate is “good politics” but “bad for the country,” said Pfeiffer.

White House spokesman Jay Carney is expected to speak more about the birth certificate Wednesday morning.

From the WH blog link at the beginning of this post:

The President believed the distraction over his birth certificate wasn’t good for the country. It may have been good politics and good TV, but it was bad for the American people and distracting from the many challenges we face as a country. Therefore, the President directed his counsel to review the legal authority for seeking access to the long form certificate and to request on that basis that the Hawaii State Department of Health make an exception to release a copy of his long form birth certificate. They granted that exception in part because of the tremendous volume of requests they had been getting. President Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate can be seen here (PDF):

Obama himself has spoken on the issue this morning. From the Guardian’s live blogging of Obama’s statement

9.48am ET: Obama is now speaking at the White House.

“This isssue has been going on for two and a half years now, I think it started during the campaign,” says Obama, looking relaxed.

He says he’s been “amused and puzzled” by how long the rumours have persisted, despite many investigations and the release of the shorter version of his birth certificate. “And yet this thing just keeps on going.”

9.51am ET: “Normally, I would not comment on something like this,” says Obama. But he explains that, two weeks ago during the budget debate with Republicans in Congress, he found that the biggest news story was about his birth certificate.

(That was Trump’s fault: that was when he started raising the subject.)

9.52am ET: “We’re not going to solve our problems if we get distracted by carnival acts and sideshow barkers,” says Obama – an oblique reference to Trump, surely?

“We do not have time for this kind of silliness, we’ve got big stuff to do, I’ve got big stuff to do,” says Obama, before closing his statement, without taking questions from the White House press corps.

Oh that’s a great touch by Obama calling Trump a sideshow barker.

This morning is all bread and circuses, and the oligarchy scores again!

Also from the Guardian live blog… Donald Trump is a big fat liar, bringing the Clinton’s name into his birther shenanigans:

10.01am ET: More nonsense from Donald Trump earlier:

Why he didn’t do it when the Clintons asked for it, I don’t know.

That’s just a flat untruth. The Clintons never asked for Obama’s birth certificate to be published – although some suggest the origins of the birther argument came from the Clinton campaign during the 2008 primaries. Whether or not that is true, what is true is that the birthers set sail under their own wind long ago.

The only real political fight Obama has ever had was against Hillary. I’m sure the Clintons did their opposition research, but they’re both lawyers, they both endorsed him for president, and Hill became Obama’s secretary of state. The birthers took it upon themselves to demand Obama’s birth certificate past the point of any semblance of rationality. Trump just wants to bring the Clintons’ name into it because he doesn’t want to bear the egg on his face alone.

Incidentally, two other big announcements this morning, although unofficial — AP: Panetta to take over Pentagon, Petraeus picked for CIA chief.

From the link (USA Today):

CIA Director Leon Panetta will be named to succeed Robert Gates as secretary of Defense and Gen. David Petraeus will be nominated to replace him as CIA director, the Associated Press reports, quoting unidentified sources.

The AP also reports that Ryan Crocker, the seasoned diplomat who was ambassador to Iraq during the Bush administration, is the top candidate to become new ambassador to Afghanistan.

And, the wheels on the oligarchy bus go round and round, round and round.

Yesterday, from the Obama 2012 campaign, via Jim Messina (h/t Joyce Arnold):

The most important aspect is this: Our campaign will be grounded in President Obama’s experience as a community organizer. This notion of ordinary people taking responsibility for the organization at the neighborhood level is not only the way to win, it’s also the way politics ought to work. Our campaign will be an example of innovation and efficiency, but it will also be an example of civic engagement at its best and most rewarding.

Isn’t that rich? Recycling the “community organizer” pitch? But, really I’m not surprised. Obama’s an excellent organizer and he is running on that indeed–it’s just that most people miss WHO it is that he is organizing for: Himself.

Not ordinary people.

Obama has offered his ostensible base–the American people– nothing but crumbs, bones, and insults, while catering to his real base, the one that will help bankroll his billion dollar re-election campaign — Wall Street. Yet, as evidenced by today’s well-timed WH dumps, this WH is “fired up and ready to go” to get Obama re-elected and confident they’ve got 2012 in the bag. All this bread and circuses has served him and the oligarchy well to that end.

58 Comments on “BREAKING: Obama releases LFBC (Also: Panetta to take over the Pentagon, Petraeus to become CIA chief)”

  1. Branjor says:

    FINALLY – I was itching to see the thing from the moment the “controversy” came up in 2008. What took them so long?

    • What took them so long is that the Obama camp allowed the GOP to hang themselves, imho.

      • Carolyn Kay says:

        I don’t know, the controversy has been raging since early 2008.

        I just don’t get the delay.

        Carolyn Kay

      • I don’t think the Obama camp anticipated the rise of birtherism, but once they saw it start to unfold, they saw the advantage of milking it until the moment was ripe. What better way to get his 2012 re-election campaign under way than to punk his loudest critics?

      • dakinikat says:

        I still thought the release of the LEGAL shortform would’ve shut it down. I have no idea why people are so obsessed with the so-called long form. It hasn’t been the legal document for decades! You don’t need it to get a passport even!

      • The short form/long form distinction was just a technicality to keep the xenophobic code going. It wasn’t about what was legal.

      • Woman Voter says:

        Wonk, is there any tape or story where ‘The Clintons’ are asking for it, because I don’t recall that. I know Larry Johnson had some expert then quit @ NQ, but I don’t recall Hillary asking. I recall GOP Right wing asking about McCain’s but I don’t recall what Trump is saying here.

        Trump is going a long way to tar and feather’ The Clintons’ and to promote Gaddafi.

        Donald Trump Speaks about Obama’s Birth Certificate in New Hampshire

      • The Clintons didn’t ask for Obama’s birth certificate. Trump just pulled that out of his ass. See the guardian live blog (10.01 am entry) I quoted in the post.

      • Woman Voter says:

        Thanks, because it really, really bothers me that no reporter put him in his place and I know I would have remembered that. On MSNBC a pundit mentioned someone named Star who was a Hillary delegate from Texas who he said was upset over the misogyny (which the anchor seemed nervous about) who he said started the story.

        I can’t even think of someone named ‘star’ who was active, or that I can recall, so I don’t know where they are getting this stuff.

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    As much as I dislike Obama, this birther nonsense all about race, race, race.

    Just as the GOP tried in vain to oust Clinton from office based on his lower class beginnings, this is much of the same thing.

    It is plainly despicable but my feeling is that even this document will not satisfy those who are intent on follwing this path.

    Donald Trump makes me sick to my stomach. A bully showman with an unequaled ego with nothing to offer beyond a platform to run his big fat mouth.

    • Birtherism is about xenophobia more than race alone, I think.

      They didn’t ask for Jesse Jackson’s birth certificate, did they? I was too young to know for sure back then, but I never heard anything about it.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        I don’t remember any claims made against him at that time but then he never became president.

        But Clinton suffered some of the same serious backlash, being accused as a murderer and a drug dealer that found its way onto “tapes for sale” made and published by the an arm of the Right.

        Accusations that he and Hillary were covering up their complicity in the “murder” of Vince Foster.

        The Right pulled out all the stops in an attempt to take down the legitimacy of his presidency as well but they have had a field day with the birther issue and much of it again is based on race.

        How dare a man of color be president! Yet his policies mirror those most closely aligned with Right Wingers.

      • The Clintons definitely suffered the DC Village’s classist bias… to DC, they’re the backward hillbillies from Arkansas. There’s a very insightful excerpt from Bill’s book about how he was told before he even decided to run for president that Washington would destroy him, make up any backwood story from Arkansas that they could to stop him.

      • How dare a man of color be president!

        with another layer of xenophobia/nativism … “how dare someone with a Kenyan father and a Kansan mother be president. how dare he possibly call himself American.”

        Again when the legit question should be how dare he call himself a Democrat!

        • dakinikat says:

          Birtherism, Conspiracy Theories, and the “Christian Nation”

          More important, though, you can’t ignore religion when discussing birtherism. Because it’s a certain kind of religious literalism — one that dominates Republican religious discourse –that is the root of the right’s manufactured distrust of Obama as un-American, not-Christian, possibly Muslim, possibly a secret Muslim Brotherhood agent. It’s that kind of religion that produces the self-satisfaction that there is a truth that is more believable than some piece of paper from a government agency.

          And that “truth” is not just the Bible, but the supposed “truth” that God ordained America as a Christian nation. And by “Christian,” they mean not just some Christian like Obama who likes gay people. They mean, as Graham said to Christianity Today yesterday, “a true follower of Jesus Christ and not just by name,” someone who will “obey” and not, say, support LGBT rights. Someone like Mike Huckabee, who “no question this man is saved.”

      • paper doll says:

        Unless one witnessed it, no one would believe what the Clintons went through day in and out for 8 years at the hands of the super rich AND the federal government.

        24/7 cable news was created in order to hound them 24/7 and I believe 700 FBI agents searched AR for SOMETHING ,anything to pin on them . Also don’t forget the 100 million ’90’s dollars spent “investigating” them and the utter destruction of so many lives of those in the way …Vince Foster being the most famous.

        I haven’t even scratched the surface. No one would believe the insanity…next to that, 08 wasn’t as bad and it was why Hill could handle it so well . She’d seen far worse

      • From Bill Clinton’s book, My Life:

        One July day, Lynda Dixon told me that Roger Porter was on the phone from the White House. As I’ve said, I had worked with Roger on the education goals project and had a high regard for his ability to be loyal to the President and still work with the governors. Roger asked me if I was going to run for President in 1992. I told him that I hadn’t decided, that I was happier being governor than I’d been in years, that my family life was good and I was reluctant to disrupt it, but that I thought the White House was being too passive in dealing with the country’s economic and social problems. I said I thought the President should use the enormous political capital he had as a result of the Gulf War to tackle the country’s big issues. After five or ten minutes of what I thought was a serious conversation, Roger cut it off and got to the point. I’ll never forget the first words of the message he had been designated to deliver: “Cut the crap, Governor.” He said “they” had reviewed all the potential candidates against the President. Governor Cuomo was the most powerful speaker, but they could paint him as too liberal. All the senators could be defeated by attacks on their voting records. But I was different. With a strong record in economic development, education, and crime, and a strong DLC message, I actually had a chance to win. So if I ran, they would have to destroy me personally. “Here’s how Washington works,” he said. “The press has to have somebody in every election, and we’re going to give them you.” He went on to say the press were elitists who would believe any tales they were told about backwater Arkansas. “We’ll spend whatever we have to spend to get whoever we have to get to say whatever they have to say to take you out. And we’ll do it early.”

      • dakinikat says:

        The weird thing about the birther issue was that McCain was the one that was born abroad. Albeit, on a navy base. My exhusband has a state department birth certificate too and hence, no ‘long form’ or ‘short form’ birth certificate at all. He was born on a US military base in Japan of a Japanese mother and a US born dad. I suppose that would be used against him this day and age too. What about all those military kids like my ex-husband?

      • I don’t think this was ever really about being born abroad. McCain doesn’t fit the birther’s worldview of what isn’t American… Obama having a father that stayed in Kenya and a nonconformist mother who raised him in Hawaii and Indonesia plus Obama running as citizen of the world… this would have sent the birthers reaching for the smelling salts even if there had been no birth certificate rumor. The birth certificate was just a more sanitized way for them to say they don’t think Obama is a “real” American. Remember one of those Palin shows on Fox…didn’t it have “Real Americans” in the title or something?

      • bostonboomer says:

        Dakinikat @11:47AM:

        “And by “Christian,” they mean not just some Christian like Obama who likes gay people.”

        Now that’s really silly. Obama doesn’t like gay people. LOL

    • paper doll says:

      “We’ll spend whatever we have to spend to get whoever we have to get to say whatever they have to say to take you out. And we’ll do it early

      Actually he was being a friend to Bill to give him such a heads up! lol!

      ” Cut the crap”

      ie stop talking about the country problems and how to fix them….which is still considered “crap”

    • gregoryp says:

      Every birther I’ve ever met was a racist. Not saying that all birthers are racist but every one that I’ve met. They didn’t even try to hid that fact often calling Obama the N-word many times in the breakroom where I work. They did this loudly and often and with people of African descent sitting in the room. Just a bunch of bitter, vile, obnoxious people who think only of themselves and believe that their worldview is right and to heck with the rest of us.

      • dakinikat says:

        I think a lot of it has to do with religious xenophobia too … most of the birthers I know are obsessively anti-Muslims. Can you imagine being an hispanic-American if the only thing people will accept are long form birth certificates? You’d get asked repeatedly for it every time you go to work, every time you go to the hospital etc. because now there are state laws denying things to people not American citizens. You couldn’t use your passport. You couldn’t use your short form birth certificate or anything else and I’d bet people would ask for the longform just to be obnoxious too.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Dak, having the maiden name of Lopez was something that we always had to defend after moving to Georgia. The suspicion that we were/are Mexican comes into play, like a distrust on the part of the Banjoville locals.

  3. fiscalliberal says:

    Hopefully this issue is now put to rest. He could have done this a long time ago, but it served his pupose of distracting people from the real issues.

    Now – what will the Main Street Media concentrate on after the Brit wedding. They do not seem to get beynd the 3 minute sound byte. My kids gave me a i-touch and I am able to steam Bloomberg radio. They discuss subjects in 15, 30 and 6o minute increments. The Bloomberg radio commentators seem to ask questions that the public is interested in. You get a feeling that the discussion was a fair exchange.

    At ;east the Republicans are getting challenged at their town halls. They will stop the town halls as they have main stream media to trumpet thier nonsense

    • paper doll says:

      Now – what will the Main Street Media concentrate on after the Brit wedding.

      lol! I think you discovered why Obama released the long form right now ! So the media can concentrate on the wedding! lol!

    • dakinikat says:

      I don’t get the requests for the ‘long form’ vs. the ‘short form’. If the short form was good enough to get a passport,then it should’ve shut the birthers up back then.

      • Woman Voter says:

        At NQ they are full steam ahead and
        MSNBC is saying his father was an immigrant when in fact he was a foreign student visa holder and in the States for an education on scholarship. What gives this spin is that the media and their rearranging the facts etc. Obama’s people gave now even admitted that Obama Sr was married at the time if his birth to his Kenyan wife and ‘supposedly’ his mother got a divorce as opposed to an annulment when she learned that he had a wife, but that Obama Sr said she approved of a second wife as is the Kenyan custom.

        So, I agree it is all just a sympathy plea as the Donald was busy smearing Bill and Hillary Clinton and now Obama will go on Ophrah’s show ( Trump’s good friend).

        Oh, and Trump was busy supporting Gaddafi, while calling the Pro-Democracy Rebels Al Qaeda and Iranian. Who stayed at Trump’s house, Gaddafi. And the media carried his every word live.

      • joanelle says:

        so the only question that remains is why spend so much on lawyers to fight the birthers??? 😕

      • joanelle says:

        It’s all crazy-making

  4. mjames says:

    Oh good, he released the long form birth certificate.

    Now I can rush out and proclaim his greatness and vote for him, especially since he’s appointed that other great man Petraeus to head up the CIA. Then I can run out and vote for Petraeus in a few years. Whoopee!

    The CIA sure seems to do well with Obama at the helm, no?

    • Now I can rush out and proclaim his greatness and vote for him, especially since he’s appointed that other great man Petraeus to head up the CIA. Then I can run out and vote for Petraeus in a few years. Whoopee!

      Lol. Exactly.

  5. dakinikat says:

    From Susie Madrak:

    Nicole Sandler at crazy Allen West’s town hall in Palm Beach last night:

    As you may recall, I had Nicole on my show a few weeks ago to talk about the short sale of her house. She needs bail money and legal fees right now, so if you can spare it, please DONATE NOW.

  6. Owen says:

    not to start up the birther stuff, but isn’t this the same thing BO put out in 2008??

    • Woman Voter says:

      No it isn’t, it is the original with his mother’s signature and the doctor who delivered him.

      • Owen says:

        I thought the Dr. was West? Wasn’t that what one of the ‘witnesses’ said?

        The four day difference and the scribbles would seem to lead to questions….

      • Conspiracy Theories Post-Birth Certificate Era:

        The document’s existence and dissemination could have been a death knell to the Birther movement, if the Birther movement was informed by such things as documents and their existence. Nay—America’s most resilient conspiracy theorists aren’t going to let a thing like reality stand in the way of their suspicions. Politico’s Ben “Who?” Smith reports: “Orly Taitz, once called ‘Queen of the birthers’ and who was responsible for a number of lawsuits, is verifying the document’s authenticity and now believes that the president is using a false Social Security number.” Some other guy who we’ve never ever heard of, Phil Berg, “now believes that Obama was adopted by his Indonesian father and lost his U.S. citizenship.”

        If Taitz and that other guy already called dibs on the Social Security number and adoption issues, that means that other, lesser Birthers are going to need their own new theories. Using Wikipedia, our imaginations, and basic arithmetic, we came up with a few conspiracies that anyone is free to claim and propagate as their own. It’s our gift to you. Happy Birth-Certificate Day.

        • According to this self-described birth certificate, Obama was born on August 4, 1961, but the state registrar did not process the birth certificate until August 8, 1961. Was Obama born in Kenya, and then somehow re-born in Hawaii four days later? Four days is more than enough time to travel from Kenya to Hawaii, especially for a baby, which would be so light and easily transportable.

        • Why did Obama’s mother and the attending doctor sign the birth certificate on different days? Stanley Ann Dunham dated the document August 7, 1961, while a doctor recorded the date as August 8, 1961. What happened in the interim? It’s impossible to know, except to say that it probably has to do with this certificate being a forgery.

        • Why didn’t Stanley Ann Dunham list the date she last worked? Is it because she was working at that very moment, tricking everyone?

        • Obama’s birthday is August 4, making him a Leo. He certainly doesn’t act like a Leo.

      • Woman Voter says:

        When I gave birth, the doctor who delivered me, didn’t deliver the woman in the next bed…or were you meaning ‘Allen VIAGRA West’ –>A joke?

      • Woman Voter says:

        My second child didn’t have the birth certificate done well past four days…I was in the ICU, but next time I promise to get out quick to sign…

      • Woman Voter says:

        Next time…is a joke…can see the gran kids falling over… 😯

      • Branjor says:

        According to this self-described birth certificate, Obama was born on August 4, 1961, but the state registrar did not process the birth certificate until August 8, 1961. Was Obama born in Kenya, and then somehow re-born in Hawaii four days later? Four days is more than enough time to travel from Kenya to Hawaii, especially for a baby, which would be so light and easily transportable.

        OMG, how ridiculous. I was born on Nov.27 but the NYC Dept. of Health didn’t process the certificate until Dec. 31.
        That said, all the “theories” are ridiculous, not just the above one.

      • Look at how the commenter above brought up the “4 day delay” here… that’s one of the things Vanity Fair suggested to birthers–the same blurb you quoted, Branjor. It’s all very predictable and absurd.

      • Next time…is a joke…can see the gran kids falling over… 😯

        😉 The birthers would probably believe you gave birth a “next time” before they would believe O is a US citizen.

      • Owen says:

        I brought it up because ANY wierdness on the Cert will be a target to the birthers. There were scribbles, who WAS the dr. there was an interview where a Dr. west mentioned delivering the baby and the odd dating.. all of this makes the tinfoil hat people squeeel…..

    • dakinikat says:

      this is a long form compared to a short form … I have no idea why they weren’t accepting the short form … both were certified from the state and the most telling was that his birth was announced in the local newspaper. The birth announcement in the paper is considered proof in genealogy circles.

    • Branjor says:

      No. He put out a newer short form BC.
      I know because I have both a long form and a short form BC. The long form was the copy they sent my parents when I was born. The short form is one I had to obtain a few years ago in order to go back to college as the long form was no longer the legal form.

  7. Peggy Sue says:

    Well, I watched both Donald Trump and POTUS give their spiel this morning. The Donald looked like the cat who swallowed the canary. Obama looked generally relieved [to me at least]. I suspect they [the WH] realized the screaming pundits, leveling charges of racism, unAmericanism and crazed obsession wasn’t working to WH advantage. At the end of last week, I heard a Politico rep [can’t remember his name] claim that this charge [invalid BC] was just a pickup from Hillary’s 2008 primary campaign.

    So, even blaming Hillary [why not] wasn’t working. Legitimate or not, the issue wasn’t going away and was taking up all the headlines.

    But this morning should put this particular chapter of doubt to rest [not for everyone but the rational majority]. This morning, however, was another piece of performance art, stretching from DC to NH.

    That being said, there are plenty of other ‘questions’ floating about. They’re sure to get play as 2012 heats up.

    Should be interesting!

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  9. paper doll says:

    The whole BC thing is still working as a super distraction….no one is talking about the strange reshuffling of the cabinet….neither Panetta at the Pentagon or Petraeus as CIA chief seem a good fit…for the average person that is. Seems to me, Panetta would be out of the loop at the Pentagon , and Petraeus WAY too active at the CIA . And what’s with if you were not a Wash DC insider by a certain date, you aren’t called to serve

    • Yep, that’s why I posted the stories together to show the musical chairs that the Admin is doing while people are looking the other way at the Obama-Trump birther reality show. Gates’ replacement was rumored to be Panetta and Petraeus would take his spot, so this isn’t exactly a surprise, but the switch still doesn’t make sense.

      (And, now Trump’s pivoting from Birth certificate and pushing harder for Obama’s academic records which I expected he would. Still distracting and unwittingly helping the powers that be.)

      • paper doll says:

        Well Wonk, you know the old saying:

        Don’t give them what they want, that only encourages them”

        DT doesn’t want to give up this good gig of course…but as it’s been noted else where in this job market , do we really want a POTUS whoes most famous saying is “you’re fired!” lol!

        The other event it’s distracting from is the fed…it goes on

      • dakinikat says:

        I’m about ready to purge a bunch of people from my Facebook again. I can’t believe the number of idiots that are biting on all of this–including on seeing Trump as something other than a major idiot–simply because they want obama to be some kind of secret muslim.

        Sheesh … now they are on to other stupid things … it’s like dealing with Trig Truthers and 9-11 conspiracy nuts and people that made Eisenhower swear he wasn’t a communist agent

      • True, but I figure today’s shot in terms of not giving ’em what they want. 😉

        If you look at memeorandum right now, the Obama/Trump coverage is so long it’s dizzying…I went through quickly, so I may have missed but mine is the only headline I saw that has both the obama birth certificate and the Panetta/Petraeus switcheroo in the same headline.

        By comparison the memeorandum links on Panetta/Patraeus is indeed paltry.

        The other event it’s distracting from is the fed…it goes on

        Kat’s got a good live blog/primer up about the Bernanke presser, I’m reading it right now.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Paper doll, I thought this was odd as well. As far as the timing of releasing the long form, when they announced the Panetta/Petraeus thing. Just finding about this BC release right now and I still find it funny.

  10. paper doll says:

    The Clintons didn’t ask for Obama’s birth certificate. Trump just pulled that out of his ass.

    Makes me wonder even more if DT working for Obama Inc. After all this time, I don’t see Obama releasing his bc because The Donald thumped his chest

    • I don’t either. The WH has had to have known that they had this ace up their sleeve for more than the past two weeks or whatever since Trump’s been barking.

      At the same time, I think it’s more a convergence than a true conspiring. Perhaps at the most some political operator set Trump up or what, but he’s such an egomaniac and putz that it could always just be that, so it’s hard to know. “Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity.”

  11. jillforhill says:

    “Panetta — who enjoys solid bipartisan support in Congress — emerged as a strong candidate to succeed Gates as Pentagon chief after it became clear Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not interested in the job.”