Everybody Loves Mad Dog

December 2, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump's nomination of General James Mattis to be the next secretary of defense is being met with wide enthusiasm.

Affectionately known as "Mad Dog," the retired Marine Corps general and former head of U.S. Central Command won praise throughout his career for his strong leadership, intelligence, courage, and colorful personality.

Republicans, Democrats, military figures, and journalists are now lauding the choice of Mattis to run the Pentagon.

Retired Adm. James Stavridis, Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander

"He is a superb officer. He's very balanced, very intelligent, and well-read, an outstanding individual who understands combat operations."

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander

"He was a terrific combat leader. He's a very smart guy. He's got a great capacity for work."

Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.)

"He would bring, I think, a great experience with him, a great reputation with him, a great mind with him."

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius

"This is good news for Gulf Arab allies of the United States. They love General Mattis. It's good news for NATO."

Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.)

"He was an outstanding general. He served our nation with great distinction."

Ret. Maj. Gen. James "Spider" Marks

"Magnificent leader. He's always the smartest guy in the room and the most well-prepared guy in the room."

Ret. Adm. James Loy, former Secretary of Homeland Security

"Jim Mattis brings the combination of the warrior on the battlefield with the statesman that I think is a very appropriate balance."

Former Meet The Press host David Gregory

"General Mattis also brings a lot of credibility ... I think it's a very positive sign that President-elect Trump would turn to him."

Ret. Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling

"He is also very much of an intelligence soldier-scholar, a reflectionary."

Ret. Lt. Col. Joe Plenzler

"I know General Mattis to be a very deliberate, very thoughtful, very caring leader for those he led."

Ret. Lt. Col. Ralph Peters

"He is a flawless pick ... To use a Victorian term, a man of noble spirit."

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.)

"You see people that have worked for James Mattis, and they just said they'd basically follow this guy into any conditions, into Hell, because he'd do the same for them."

Mattis retired from the military in 2013. In order for him to head the Pentagon, Congress will have to pass legislation to bypass a law stating defense secretaries cannot have been on active military duty the previous seven years.