Nine months after the resignation of Interior Secretary Gale Norton, there is another former Wichitan in the president’s Cabinet — Defense Secretary Robert Gates. For whatever reason, Cabinet members from Wichita are getting to be the rule rather than the exception. Before Norton there was Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, the former Wichita congressman who served five years in President Clinton’s Cabinet.
These native Wichitans have brought a wealth of experience to their important responsibilities and, we’d like to think, a generous measure of Kansas-bred common sense and integrity. It’s gratifying to see our community give rise to such important public servants. And for all the essential community talk about how to keep talented kids from leaving, such Wichitans-made-good stories, in all walks of life, send a valuable message to area young people about their potential to contribute to the world.
Unlike most Cabinet members named midway through a lame-duck president’s term, Gates cannot be a placeholder. In taking his oath Monday to replace Donald Rumsfeld, he became perhaps the most important Cabinet member of President Bush’s two terms, with the urgent duty to help find and employ the right next strategy on Iraq.
Posted by Rhonda Holman
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