Obama faces shrinking pool of Pentagon contenders

FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2013 file photo, Ashton Carter testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. People familiar with the decision-making process say President Barack Obama’s shortlist for Defense Secretary includes Carter, the former deputy defense secretary who left the administration in late 2013, and Robert Work, who currently holds the No. 2 job at the Pentagon. The president has also been considering Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who previously served as the Pentagon’s top lawyer, though some administration officials are concerned about leaving a vacancy at DHS just as the agency starts implementing Obama’s immigration executive actions. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Wanted: Thick-skinned candidate to oversee a sprawling bureaucracy bitten by budget cuts and join a national security team besieged by criticism. Must be tolerant of White House interference.

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