CNN is reporting that President Obama will announce Monday that former Sen. Chuck Hagel will be his nominee for Defense Secretary.
Hagel an ‘in-your-face’ pick
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday called former Republican Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, who is President Barack Obama’s likely pick for defense secretary, an “in-your-face” nomination” and someone who is “out of the mainstream” of thinking on foreign policy issues.
“I’m going to vote for Senator [John] Kerry [for secretary of state]. I don’t agree with him a lot, but I very much think he’s in the mainstream of thought,” Graham said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
GOP still skeptical as Obama seems set on Hagel
On “Fox News Sunday,”Sen. Ted Cruz said the Iranian mullahs who support terror groups in the Middle East would cheer a Hagel nomination.
Mr. Cruz, Texas Republican, said a Hagel nomination, over the objections of key lawmakers, was an indication that President Obama has misread the results of Election Day and thinks he faces no opposition on Capitol Hill.
“This is a president who has drunk the tea. He’s high on re-election right now,” the freshman GOP senator said.
Mr. Graham said Mr. Hagel, a Republican, has long since cut ties with the GOP with his sharp criticism of former President Bush and the war in Iraq, his skeptical comments about the country’s relationship with Israel, and his openness to direct negotiations with Iran.
via Washington Times.
Obama wants him but Gays oppose him
I couldn’t help but notice that, In his piece confirming that Obama will pick Hagel, the Daily Beast‘s Eli Lake makes passing mention of the pro-gay-rights opposition:
While Hagel has a reservoir of support from elite journalists, foreign-policy intellectuals and former government officials, he is not beloved by many other interest groups, including the pro-Israel lobby, the gay-equality lobby, and even Armenian Americans.
via The Daily Beast.
Politics Makes for strange bedfellows, Christians, Gays, and Jews line up against Hagel
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee relied on the “neocons” and the right wing of the Republican Party to fire the first salvos by raising questions about Hagel’s commitment to Israel’s security.
The counterattack came fast and furious. Hundreds and then thousands of email messages and tweets followed by the heavy artillery of op-eds by the media commentariat. AIPAC had underestimated the scale of Hagel’s media support.
The Jewish lobby countered with bigger guns. Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, questioned Hagel’s credentials for the job of defense secretary.
Chuck Hagel Biography