Then-Sen. Chuck Hagel meets with U.S. service members at Multi-National Division South East Headquarters in Basra, Iraq, in this July 2008. Hagel visited Basra with then-Sen. Barack Obama as part of a Middle East tour. Christopher Sheely/U.S. Army
From Capitol Hill To Iran, Next Defense Secretary Faces Challenges -- Matthew Schofield, McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — The trial balloon for the next secretary of defense barely lifted off before the darts started zipping at it, from the left and the right.
The notion: Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, might be a good pick to fill the shoes of the current secretary, Leon Panetta, when he eventually leaves.
The problems: Log Cabin Republicans used a 14-year-old quote to say Hagel was anti-gay. Some Israel backers used a 2006 quote to question his support of that nation, and a few even said he was an anti-Semite. Neo-conservatives questioned whether he’d be too soft on Iran and Hamas.
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My Comment: Matthew Schofield focuses on some Republican-conservative critics of Hagel, but the situation is more complicated than that .... some conservatives support him, while some Democrats do not. But considering the role and policy choices that the next US Defense Secretary will be faced with .... you have to ask yourself .... is this a job that you really want?