Apparently President-elect Obama's pick of Leon Panetta to head the CIA came as a surprise to almost everyone. Panetta has no experience with intelligence, and has minimal credentials on national security issues. It looks like a mainly political appointment of a man most think has effective management skills.
I'm skeptical of the no experience argument, and of making too much of his nomination one way or another. Unfortunately experience doesn't guarantee results, especially in a highly politicized position such as CIA director. George Tenet had plenty of experience in intelligence. How well did the CIA perform under his directorship? If Panetta is smart -- and most seem to think he is -- he'll manage the agency using his strengths, and take advantage of the experience and knowledge of those under him.
As a Republican I don't expect to be pleased by most of Obama's appointments, but I find nothing particularly shocking about this one. And I wouldn't be surprised if Panetta actually does a decent job at CIA. The pick has also apparently annoyed some prominent Senate Democrats, such as Dianne Feinstein. Any political appointment that creates dissension between Obama and Democrats in the Senate isn't all bad.