A troika of former aides to former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton and former CIA director and defense secretary Leon Panetta have launched a bipartisan consulting firm, vowing to help American companies adjust to a changing national security landscape.
Even as former Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines, former assistant secretary of state Andrew Shapiro and former Panetta chief of staff Jeremy Bash start up Beacon Global Strategies, however, they are making it clear they intend to return to government service in the future. The pledge, highlighted in a Defense News article Monday, could come in handy if Clinton seeks the presidency in 2016.
"We’re all very committed to public service," Bash said in an interview Monday. "None of us thinks we’ve done our last bit to serve the country."
The three Democrats have brought on Republican Michael Allen, who served both as an aide to former president George W. Bush and most recently as staff director of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as a fellow company director.
"We want to build bipartisan support for solutions to complex national security problems," Bash said, noting that cooperation between Democrats and Republicans on these issues "has been lacking in recent years."
The group hopes to take advantage of three major developments in the national security realm, he added: the emphasis on cybersecurity, recent shifts in national security spending on the federal government, and the growing importance of international markets.
As the group prepares its new office, they are adjusting to one aspect of their changing domestic landscape: There will be a designated playroom for all of their kids. It will have to cater to different tastes, Bash noted.
"Andrew’s boys like video games, my girls like horsey equipment, like rocking horses, and Michael’s kids like cars, so it will have elements of all three of those," he said.