WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 05:  U.S. President Barack Obama (L) jokes with  Ashton Carter after Obama announced his nomination of Carter to be the next defense secretary with Vice President Joe Biden (R) in the Roosevelt Room at the White House December 5, 2014 in Washington, DC. Carter, who served as the second in charge at the Pentagon under both secretaries Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel, is expected to face a smooth confirmation process in the U.S. Senate.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)