President Obama has picked his SECNAV,

President Obama will nominate former Mississippi Governor Ray Mabus to be secretary of the Navy and has tapped six other officials for key positions at the Department of Defense and elsewhere in his administration, the White House announced this afternoon.

Is he someone soaked in the Navy? Well, a bit.

As an undergraduate at the University of Mississippi, Mabus served in the Naval ROTC, and he later joined the Navy as a surface warfare officer on the Rhode Island-based USS Little Rock.

Ok, notsomuch.

However, if you are of the mind that what the Navy needs right now is political topcover as we make smoke and try to re-form our lines … then perhaps this is just what we need.

Mabus, 60, is a Democrat who served as governor from 1988 to 1992 and was President Bill Clinton’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia. A Democrat, Mabus endorsed Obama before the 2008 primary season and campaigned extensively on his behalf.

My guess would be that he has a good relationship with Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS), a if not the critical Democrat in Congress when it comes to shipbuilding – that is good news regardless if you like Rep. Taylor’s ideas or not. Snerk, I know the folks at Ingalls are happy ….

His resume summary,

Ray Mabus has served as Governor of Mississippi, Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Chairman and CEO of Foamex, a large manufacturing company. As the youngest governor of Mississippi in more than 100 years at the time of his election, he stressed education and job creation. He passed B.E.S.T. (Better Education for Success Tomorrow), one of the most comprehensive education reform programs in America and was named one or Fortune Magazine’s top ten education governors. During his tenure as Ambassador, a crisis with Iraq was successfully deterred and Saudi Arabia officially abandoned the boycott of United States businesses that trade with Israel. He was chosen CEO of Foamex to help lead it out of bankruptcy. Less than nine months after his appointment, Foamex successfully emerged from Chapter 11. Governor Mabus has been awarded the U.S. Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award, the U.S. Army’s Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the Martin Luther King Social Responsibility Award from the King Center in Atlanta, the National Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Award, the King Abdul Aziz Award from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Mississippi Association of Educators’ Friend of Education Award.

We should all wish him the best of luck – and the hope he picks a good team.

Cross posted @ CDR Salamander.

Posted by CDRSalamander in Navy

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  • Spade

    Call me cynical, but it makes me wonder how much Navy shipbuilding in the future will be to benefit the Navy, or to benefit NGSS. Or what would happen if something like LPD-17 happened again.

    At this point, with all the issues, I’d kinda rather somebody “soaked in the Navy” and had strategy, shipbuilding, etc. ideas and such. Rather than somebody who just might have gotten the job by being a good fundraiser.

    Maybe I’ve just been inside the beltway too long.

  • Larry Usoff, USN Retired

    I had sent my name to BO for consideration as SecNav but I suppose he preferred politicians to powerhouses. My main concern would have been shipbuilding also, but with the intelligent sailors to man, and operate, those ships. If it took another “Great White Fleet” to show the world whose Navy is THE Navy, I’d have done it.
    BTW, the new working uniforms suck!