Politico reports that President Obama will formally nominate former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense today.
The choice of Hagel, who opposed his party on the Iraq War as a senator, is likely to ignite a raucous confirmation battle because several Democratic interest groups and prominent Republicans have voiced strong opposition since Hagel’s vetting for the job was reported five weeks ago. Obama, who arrived back in Washington on Sunday morning, is expected to announce his nomination of Hagel on Monday as his first public appearance after the continuation of his Hawaii vacation. Within a few days, and perhaps at the same time as the Hagel announcement, the president is likely to name his successor for former CIA Director David Petraeus. The candidates are John Brennan, White House homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, or Mike Morrell, acting CIA director.
Hagel is opposed both by homocons and the religious right.