Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense

An article on Politico discusses the controversy over whom President-elect Obama will select as his Secretary of Defense. Although much talk has focused on current Secretary Robert Gates as a transitional figure, there is also opposition to this from the anti-war movement, who regard him as too implicated in Bush Administration policies.

The best alternative candidate that I have seen mentioned is former Sen. Chuck Hagel. He has been critical of Bush Administration policies, while also coming from the Republican side of the aisle, which would complement the Obama Administration's drive toward bipartisanship.

The latter is an especially important point. The Democrats have a unique opportunity to reduce the Republicans to the status of a regional, minority party for the foreseeable future. To do that, however, they will need to capture the moderate Republicans. There are already signs of this happening, if one can judge by the concerns of the more intelligent Republican columnists such as David Brooks. However, a few prominent Republican appointees to the Cabinet might deal the needed blow.

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