TSA chief John Pistole, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and a host of names from the Hill are popping up in the initial round of possible replacements for outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
But some are all but taking themselves out of the running.
Hill names in the rumor mill include House Homeland Security ranking member Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.). He got an endorsement from Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), a member of the panel, although Thompson has blasted TSA in recent years over concerns about racial profiling, a lack of minority contracts and privacy-invading body-scanner machines.
Thompson “would bring diversity to that position, who has incredible, really in-depth knowledge. He understands the ports system, where we’re seeing some of our biggest threats,” Sanchez told POLITICO.
“He was tough on George Bush, as he was on [President Barack] Obama. But I think that’s important — we are after all the check and balance on the administration,” she added. “Maybe President Obama will want a ‘yes’ man. Certainly Bennie Thompson would not be considered that.”