Skagit County resident and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates apparently won't be returning in January to retire at his Big Lake home. The word from D.C. is that Gates, a Bush appointee, will be staying on under the Obama administration to head the Pentagon. He's been respected for his straight-shooting leadership and comparable (to Don Rumsfeld) success in Iraq.
Gates would help make up an eclectic - as promised - Barack Obama cabinet that may ultimately include Sen. Tom Daschle as HHS secretary, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano heading Homeland Security, federal prosecutor Eric Holder as the first black attorney general, and Sen. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Bill's being vetted for a job too.
After he retired as George H.W. Bush's CIA director, Bob Gates moved in 1994 to Big Lake, just out of Mount Vernon, with his wife of 42 years, Becky, and their now-grown two children. Before taking the defense post under Bush II, Gates became president of Texas A&M University. But he hung onto the Skagit property, where he celebrated the 4th of July this year.
Gates son Brad is a WSU graduate, and Gates daughter Eleanor, at last report, lived in Seattle - working for Washington Mutual.