No Pete Buttiigeg or Tammy Duckworth…
McDonough was a Obama Chief of Staff….
He is NOT a veteran….
But he does have serious top level experience on running things as the President’s Chief of Staff…
The VA has 380,000 employee’s….
It has had problems with its management….
McDonough had not been widely talked about as a leading contender for the VA job, which has traditionally gone to a veteran. The public discussion had largely focused on former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth and more recently, former Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Murphy.
Biden picked McDonough because he felt he was crisis-tested and knows how to pull the levers of government, according to a source close to the transition. Biden was also impressed by McDonough regularly visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and making a point of visiting troops in the field while he was deputy national security adviser under Obama.
Biden’s decision not to tap a veteran for the job came as a surprise for veterans service organizations and leaders who expected the president-elect to continue a tradition of having a war veteran lead the VA. McDonough was a longtime Capitol Hill staffer before he joined the Obama campaign in 2008, and he then served in various foreign policy roles in the White House before becoming chief of staff.
“The concern, right off the bat, I know our members are going to be very concerned that he’s not a veteran,” said Joe Chenelly, national executive director of AMVETS.
“We have a lot of veterans who still have trouble trusting the VA,” Chenelly said. “I’m not sure that having someone at the helm who’s not a veteran is going to be helpful in the near term.”…