President Obama chose an insider known to him personally to head the Secret Service, elevating the former head of his security detail and the current acting director, Joseph Clancy, to assume stewardship over the troubled agency.
A panel of experts assembled by the administration itself last year recommended bringing in someone from the outside. No matter, Obama chose someone he is comfortable with.
The president values loyalty. Whether he has put loyalty ahead of competence in this case is unclear. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest would not even say today that there was a competitive selection process, saying only that it was not a “foregone conclusion” when Obama made Clancy the acting director that he would remain.
Clancy does not have significant managerial experience and he is from within the agency. On the other hand, he has acted boldly in removing senior people who were part of the problem and has impressed some members of Congress. Hopefully, Obama is doing the right thing.