If confirmed by the Senate, Panetta would be among the few directors in agency history with no experience at one of the nation's spy services.
Largely for that reason, Panetta's selection was met with criticism on Capitol Hill.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who this week begins her tenure as the first female head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said she was not consulted on the choice and indicated she might oppose it.
"I was not informed about the selection of Leon Panetta to be the CIA director," Feinstein said. "My position has consistently been that I believe the agency is best served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time."
If you're looking for a Clinton loyalist to run the CIA, I would think that Sandy "Pants" Berger might have better espionage experience.