Thursday, August 19, 2010

How right they were

I ran across an old article (The Washington Times, January 7, 1997) and wanted to share an astute prediction.

Chuck Hagel raised eyebrows in Washington by winning the Republican primary in Nebraska, where he was given little hope. He impressed more skeptics by overcoming odds and winning the general election over Democrat Ben Nelson to take the seat left by retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Exon.

"If he runs his office half as well as he did his campaign, he's going to be a player to watch," Mr. Marr said.

Mr. Hagel has proven himself as one to watch, and we continue to expect to see great things.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Secretary of Defense Gates to step down in 2011

Foreign Policy reports that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates plans to leave the administration in 2011, indeed he has stayed quite a bit longer than he originally planned. Secretary Gates told FP, "I just think this is not the kind of job you want to fill in the spring of a presidential election. So I think sometime in 2011 sounds pretty good." With this news, the speculation as to who would replace him picks up.

Foreign Policy goes through the short list for the next Secretary of Defense, which includes Chuck Hagel:

Always the bridesmaid: Chuck Hagel

Former Nebraska senator

The Obama administration has been trying to give Hagel a prime posting for a while. He's reported to have turned down several sweet offers, including ambassador to China and director of national intelligence. He does serve as a co-chair of Obama's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. In Hagel's favor, he's a Republican who won't bend to the GOP talking points of the moment and he's high-profile enough to fill the chair. The fear is that his independence and his penchant for veering off message in a Biden-esque way make him too risky to entrust with such a prominent perch. Moreover, if Obama chooses another Republican to lead DOD, many will begin to question whether the Democratic national- security bench is too thin or if Obama is wary of putting someone in his own party in charge of the wars.

Leslie Gelb of the Wall Street Journal agues that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should be shifted over to replace Bob Gates at Defense and Chuck Hagel should take her place as Secretary of State. "Her position at State could be readily filled by Chuck Hagel. The former Republican senator from Nebraska is generally aligned on foreign policy with Mr. Obama, perhaps more so than Mrs. Clinton herself. His confirmation would be easy."

Atlantic Council President Chuck Hagel on START

Chuck Hagel speaks on the progress and future of the new START agreement between the U.S. and Russia:

Joe Sestak picks the Senator he most admires: Chuck Hagel