I happened to mention earlier this week, in discussing Bill Richardson's situation, that Jimmy Carter had been forced to withdraw his nomination of Ted Sorensen to head the CIA, in 1977.
Now, President-elect Obama has announced his choice for that job, and I find myself tempted to quote Yogi Berra for the second time this week, in wondering whether this is "dėjà vu all over again".
Leon Panetta, like Sorensen, had his largest involvement with intelligence work as a top White House staffer. Panetta was White House chief of staff under Bill Clinton, from 1994 to 1997. John Kennedy did away with the chief of staff position during his presidency, but Sorensen was one of his senior aides.
The New York Times report to which I linked above, tells of a mixed reaction to Panetta, even among Democrats. Some question his lack of experience that is relevant to the job. That was one of the criticisms aimed at Sorensen, as well.