The ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee had an interesting insight into a wild card that could play a part in forming future defense policy and acquisition reform.
The chairmen of the two most powerful Congressional defense committees are relatively new to the job and still establishing their working relationships in their new roles. How that relationship is established is “going to be one of the most fascinating things for me to watch,” Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., told a group of defense reporters last week.
He pointed out that HASC Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain have different personalities, or as Smith put it: “You could not possibly have two more different personalities.”
On one hand you have Thornberry, who Smith described as one of the “most thoughtful, quiet, calm guys I think I’ve every seen in Congress.” He said there were times when the two would travel together across the globe on a jet when both sat on the terrorism subcommittee and “I swear if I hadn’t engaged we could have gone 11 hours without saying a word. And not in a bad way. Mac likes me … He’s just contained where he’s at.”
And then there’s the former presidential candidate from Arizona. “I can’t imagine John McCain getting to the end of the tarmac without having something to say.”