A. “Too soon to tell, but he has been a visible and reliable presence. Hasn’t come across as a partisan.”
B+. “Trusted, seasoned, politically astute.”
B. “It’s still early, and budget cuts are on the horizon. However, he did a masterful job at the CIA, and I’m hopeful he can have the same success at Defense.”
B. “We need to see better articulation of his vision of a 21st-century military.”
B. “If we, in fact, remove all troops by the specified dates, then both the president and Secretary Panetta will get a high mark from me.”
B-. “He has to face facts that the Pentagon must trim down.”
C+. “His insistence on no cuts in military spending is wrong.”
D-. “His comments on the budget cuts are calculated to gain favor within the department, not to serve the nation or the administration. It’s all about Leon.”
How would you grade the performance of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta so far?
Republicans (18 votes)
Average grade: B-
A+. “Assuming Panetta prevents Obama from allowing a sequester to occur. If he doesn’t, the grade becomes an F.”
A. “He’s been steady, communicative about our mission, a hawk, and talks to both sides in the Congress; and getting bin Laden and the continuing deterioration of al-Qaida is pretty hard to argue with.”
B+. “Off to a strong start, with solid bipartisan relationships on the Hill.”
B+. “It’s early, but he has provided good leadership this far.”
B. “We’ve made strides in eliminating senior al-Qaida leaders, and he’s ably made the case for funding our nation’s defense at reasonable levels.”
Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Christopher A. Coons, Mark Pryor, Tom Udall; Reps. Jason Altmire, Robert Andrews, Tammy Baldwin, Karen Bass, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, James Clyburn, Gerry Connolly, Joseph Crowley, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Marcy Kaptur, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Ed Markey, Jim McGovern, Jim Moran, Gary Peters, Collin Peterson, David Price, Linda Sanchez, Allyson Schwartz, Jose Serrano, Bennie Thompson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, Peter Welch, and Frederica Wilson.
GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Johnny Isakson, Richard Lugar, David Vitter; Reps. John Boehner, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Jeff Denham, David Dreier, Sean Duffy, Jo Ann Emerson, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Trey Gowdy, Kay Granger, Doc Hastings, Nan Hayworth, Mike Kelly, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Adam Kinzinger, John Kline, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Patrick McHenry, Candice Miller, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Tom Price, Dave Reichert, Phil Roe, Paul Ryan, Aaron Schock, Adrian Smith, Steve Stivers, Lee Terry, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, Daniel Webster, and Joe Wilson.
This article appears in the Nov. 19, 2011, edition of National Journal.