Robert Gates considered Michael Bloomberg a possible Pentagon successor

FILE - In this Dec. 18, 2013 file photo, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks in New York. The Republican National Committee began running ads in 40 media markets Tuesday, mostly targeting incumbent senators who supported President Barack Obama’s health care program. Billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, meanwhile, gave $2.5 million to help Democrats defend their majority in the Senate. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates writes in his buzzy memoir that, when it came time to hand over the reins at the Pentagon, he created a short list of possible successors that included one unlikely name: Michael Bloomberg, the news company billionaire serving as New York City's mayor at the time.

"For my own job, my short list included Hillary [Clinton], Colin Powell, [then-CIA director Leon] Panetta, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg," Gates reveals on page 537 of "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War."

Panetta was plainly Gates' top choice, and ultimately got the job. Gates doesn't spell out why Bloomberg would have made a solid candidate to replace him, though New York City's government bureaucracy probably rivals the Pentagon's.