In Transition: Jane Harman

Monday, November 17, 2008; 9:02 AM


Current job: Member, U.S. House of Representatives (D-Calif.).

Credentials: Former ranking minority member of the House intelligence committee; chairman, House Homeland Security subcommittee on intelligence and terrorism risk assessment; eight-term House member; Carter administration special counsel and deputy secretary of defense.

What she offers: Harman, 63, is a leading voice among House Democrats on intelligence matters, and her hawkish stands and intellect have made her a leader among the party's conservative Blue Dog faction. Pragmatic and hard-headed, she was an early advocate of a Homeland Security Department.

Vetting: Harman has feuded with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who did not back Harman to chair the intelligence committee. As ranking minority member, some Democrats say, Harman was not critical enough of the Bush administration's response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, intelligence failures over Iraq and secret domestic spying initiatives. She may be in the running to lead a pure intelligence agency.

Quote: "I live and breathe security 24-7."

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