Defense Tech has learned that the Obama administration is likely to name Amb. Ray Mabus to be the next Navy secretary.
As you know, Donald Winter resigned Friday, March 13, per his plan to give the Obama administration time to find a successor. As far as we know, no one else has broken this story (correction: Inside the Navy broke it back in January), but I learned today from a well-placed source that Mabus has gone through most of the vetting needed before being named.
According to open source data, it looks like Mabus might have been a Harvard Law protoge of Obama's. He was the Democratic governor of Mississippi from '88 to '92 and was really interested in becoming SecNav back when Clinton was elected. He lost out to John Dalton, a Little Rock, Ark., banking mogul and Clinton confidant.
Instead, Mabus got picked to be ambassador to Saudi Arabia -- but his quest for SecNav didn't end there, my sources tell me. Mabus jumped on Obama's bandwagon in the spring of 2007, helping solidify Mississippi for the Blue candidate. He was also an unpaid advisor to Obama on Middle East issues.
MSNBC reported in November that Mabus was in the hat for Education secretary, but as we know that didn't happen.
No one in the Pentagon or the Hill was able to confirm Mabus's pick, but no one denied it either. Two tapped in sources confirmed it with me.