Meet Chuck Hagel, Obama's Nominee for Secretary of Defense

Just when you were starting to get used to no bitter fighting, mudslinging or hand-wringing from the White House, here comes the new nominee for Secretary of Defense. President Obama nominated Nebraska's former Republican senator Chuck Hagel on Monday, yet another in the President's merry band who's just moderate enough to make sure both parties don't like him. On the one hand, he's a Republican—one whose comments about homosexuality have gotten him in trouble—which ought to have Democrats seeing red. Conversely, as a Republican, he's made some significant breaks with his party—notably, his Iraq War voting record and his stance on Israel. In fact, some of Hagel's fellow Republicans seemed less wary of John Kerry for Secretary of State than they do of Hagel for defense, which means we're all in for another round of Oval Office drama ...

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Robert Ward

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Robert Ward commented…

This is a shallow look at an exceptionally complex nomination process. The fire Hagel is under isn't coming from both sides, at least not anymore. Barney Frank has become a supporter of the nomination after his rather loud objections of Hagel's anti-LGBT past precisely because the same arch-conservatives who derailed the Rice nomination are attempting a reprise. Reasonable conservative voices are not joining a chorus of liberal concerns. Paleo-conservative Senate obstructionists are revolting liberal critics of Hagel. This isn't the White House taking on all comers. It's the schoolyard bullies in the GOP co-opting and exploiting what could actually be a worthwhile debate and turning it into a WWE-style Royal Rumble.

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