Janet Napolitano is officially headed for an exit on stage left, which invites the question of who will succeed her at Homeland Security. Politico and the Daily Beast round up some of the frontrunners to be the sprawling department's fourth leader:
- NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly: Chuck Schumer has already called Obama's chief of staff to put in a good word for Kelly, calling New York's loss, the "nation's gain." Pete King praised his ability "to fight bureaucratic battles."
- Joe Lieberman: The Senate's former Homeland Security chair would be a strong contender, but says the "timing is not right." He just took a job at a New York law firm; he's also not going to win popularity contests in the Obama administration. Still, he's not ruling it out and he's well-versed in counterterrorism.
- Former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig: The Beast calls Danzig a "dark horse candidate," but he narrowly missed being named Defense secretary, is closely tied to the Obama administration, and currently advises Homeland Security and Defense on terrorism and bio-defense.
- TSA chief John Pistole: He's taken heat for the White House, and he's a former deputy FBI director.
- Former Coast Guard commandant Thad Allen: Won high praise for his handling of the BP oil spill.