Hagel to be announced as Secretary of Defense nominee - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Hagel to be announced as Secretary of Defense nominee

Posted: Updated: Jan 7, 2013 08:58 AM CST

By: Kayla Bremer
kbremer@klkntv.com

All eyes will be on Washington over President Obama's nomination for Secretary of Defense.

Hagel, 66, is a decorated Vietnam veteran who served two terms in the Senate. Even before his nomination, he has come under tough criticism from some former GOP colleagues over his stances on Israel and Iran.

Still, Republican lawmakers have stopped short of saying they might block Hagel's nomination.

The president will announce Hagel's nomination from the White House Monday afternoon, a senior administration official says. If confirmed, Hagel will replace current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and take over the Pentagon as it deals with budget cuts and the winding down of the Afghanistan war.

The official requested anonymity in order to discuss Hagel's nomination ahead of Obama.  While lawmakers are calling it a controversial pick, many Nebraskans we spoke to say he's right for the job.

"He speaks his mind and he's up front with everything and he's direct and a lot of people in Washington don't seem to do that much anymore," Dominic Brazda of Lincoln said.

Many of the people we spoke to were excited about the former Nebraska senator being the president's top nominee.

"I like the fact that he was a common soldier and we need that type of person to be in the defense department," Becky Schenaman said.

"I'm pleased," added John Mulvaney.  "Chuck has always had a very independent streak that I think will serve this state and this country quite well."

However, some lawmakers are questioning whether he's right for the job.

Even Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says he's reserving judgement.

"I'm going to wait and see how the hearings go and see whether Chuck's views square with the job he would be nominated to do," McConnell said during an interview with ABC's "This Week."

He says Hagel has been outspoken in foreign policy and defense over the years.  Some have questioned how strongly he supports Israel...including his reference to the "Jewish Lobby" in the United States.

"You know people are drawing attention to that but it was a long time ago and I think he sincerely regrets having said those things and maybe he was even misinterpreted," Brazda said.

Last week President Obama called Hagel "a patriot" who "has done extraordinary work."

He's expected to make the official announcement about Hagel as soon as Monday.

  • Local HeadlinesLocal HeadlinesMore>>

  • Political ad sparks controversy

    Political ad sparks controversy

    By: Channel 8 Newsroom8@klkntv.comOMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Nebraska Democrats are calling for a Republican candidate for governor to pull a televised campaign ad in which he knocks a Barack Obama doll off a fence post while criticizing the president's health care law. The ad, which began airing this week, shows Omaha state Sen. Beau McCoy standing next to the fence post with the bobblehead-like doll atop the fence post. McCoy says the health care law is ``the last thing we need,'' before slapping t...More >>
    By: Channel 8 Newsroom8@klkntv.comOMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Nebraska Democrats are calling for a Republican candidate for governor to pull a televised campaign ad in which he knocks a Barack Obama doll off a fence post while criticizing the president's health care law. The ad, which began airing this week, shows Omaha state Sen. Beau McCoy standing next to the fence post with the bobblehead-like doll atop the fence post. McCoy says the health care law is ``the last thing we need,'' before slapping t...More >>
  • Norfolk police investigate death of 38-year-old woman

    Norfolk police investigate death of woman

    Norfolk police investigate death of woman

    Law enforcement officials are investigating the death of a 38-year-old woman whose body was found in a Norfolk home.More >>
    Law enforcement officials are investigating the death of a 38-year-old woman whose body was found in a Norfolk home.More >>
  • Denton church hosts egg hunt for Mission kids

    Denton church hosts egg hunt for Mission kids

    Denton church hosts egg hunt for Mission kids

    More than 20 Mission families participated in egg-cellent activies.More >>
    More than 20 Mission families participated in egg-cellent activies.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLKN. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.