Hagel the next defense secretary?

Chuck Hagel Chuck Hagel

Former Republican Senator and Vietnam War veteran Chuck Hagel is believed to be President Obama’s top pick as the next secretary of defense, multiple media outlets are reporting.

Reports say that Hagel has passed the vetting process at the White House Counsel’s Office and could be nominated as soon as this month to replace current DOD Secretary Leon Panetta, who has said he will not serve throughout Obama’s second term, but has yet to announce his official resignation.


Other potential suitors for the position include former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy, current Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and former presidential candidate John Kerry.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today declined to comment on whether Obama is considering Hagel, saying only that the 66 year-old two-term former lawmaker from Nebraska was widely respected.

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