President Obama today rounded out his second-term national security team, nominating former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to head the Department of Defense and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the CIA.
Obama heralded the credentials of both candidates during an East Room press conference, flanked by both men and their predecessors, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and acting CIA chief Mike Morell.
“Chuck Hagel is the leader that our troops deserve,” Obama said. “He is an American patriot.”
Turning to Brennan, a 25-year veteran of the CIA, Obama said he was one of the “most skilled and respected” members of his national security team, contributing “strong analytic insights” and “invaluable perspective.”
“I hope that the Senate will act on these confirmations promptly,” Obama said. “When it comes to national security, we don’t like to leave a lot of gaps between the time that one set of leaders transitions out and another transitions in, so we need to get moving quickly on this.”
But two weeks before his inauguration, Obama’s selection of Hagel is expected to trigger a political storm over his confirmation in the Senate, where a bipartisan group of critics has already lined up against the pick.
I honestly have no opinion on either one of these guys and I don’t feel like doing the research necessary to form one. If you have anything to say about either or both of them, have at it.
If not, this is an open thread. I really don’t care.