Biden criticizes handling of Panetta pick

The vice president-elect said the transition team made a mistake in not consulting Dianne Feinstein before choosing Leon Panetta to head the CIA.

Published January 6, 2009 7:00PM (EST)

Vice President-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday that the Obama transition team had made a "mistake" in handling the choice of former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta to head the CIA. Biden specifically criticized the failure to consult with incoming Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein, who has expressed disappointment with the pick and with the fact that no one spoke to her about it.

"I'm still a Senate man and I always think this way: I think it's always good to talk to the requisite members of Congress," Biden said, according to the Huffington Post's Ryan Grim. "I think it was just a mistake."

Biden still backed Panetta for the job, however, saying, "Leon Panetta will do a first rate job. He's a great manager. He understands the community and I think he'll make a great director of the CIA. I've been here for I don't know how many of them and I think he'll be as good as any we've had."

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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