Another edition of ‘He’s not Bush’

ANOTHER EDITION OF ‘HE’S NOT BUSH’…. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, appointed by George W. Bush, kept around by Barack Obama, offered some interesting praise for his boss this morning.

“He is very analytical,” Gates told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. “He is very deliberate about the way he goes through things. He wants to understand everything. He delves very deeply into these issues.”

Gates, who previously worked for 27 years in the CIA under six presidents, was the first defense secretary to be asked to remain in office by a newly-elected president when Obama kept him on.

The Pentagon chief was diplomatic when comparing Obama to other former occupants of the Oval Office.

“I’m not going to get into comparing the different presidents, Gates said. “I very much enjoy working for this one.”

In the same interview, however, Gates noted that things have changed with the shift in administrations. “I will tell you, I think that the strategy [President Obama] put forward in late March, is the first real strategy we have had for Afghanistan since the early 1980s,” the Pentagon chief said.

I’m reluctant to read too much into the comment, but it certainly seems as if Gates was arguing that Bush waged a war in Afghanistan for seven years without putting together a “real” strategy for U.S. policy in the country.

And I certainly don’t recall Gates ever describing Bush as “very analytical,” “very deliberate,” with a desire “to understand everything” in depth.