I'm having trouble forming an objective opinion about Dr. Gates's nomination for Defense Secretary. As a recent graduate of Texas A&M, I have seen Dr. Gates in a relatively non-political role. He was a good leader, and managed to do a lot of good while he was there. I think he communicated very well with the students and connected with them. He seemed to actually care about the students.
When I met him he seemed warm and genuine. He even took time out of his schedule to be in a video for a student group I was in (he's a terrible actor ;).
Still, his involvement with the Iran-Contra affair is somewhat questionable, and that makes me wonder about his integrity in an important government role. I'm sure other things will come up during his confirmation hearings that may bring his character into question. It's tough for me to figure out what to think.
For now, I think my impression of him from personal experience will outweigh the questions about his past. Until I see some direct reason that he would make a bad Defense Secretary, I'm willing to endorse him. After all, he can't be worse than Rumsfeld, right? :)
Post your impressions. I'm interested in hearing other opinions.