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View Diary: Breaking: Former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel likely to be nominated as Secretary of Defense (74 comments)

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  •  Also, I think you could argue Hagel is less (12+ / 0-)

    hawkish pick than others, even some Dems. As a Republican and Vietnam War veteran, he may have more credibly when it comes to cutting Pentagon spending and keeping us out of future wars.

    •  Hagel is less hawkish than Leon Panetta (0+ / 0-)

      That certainly could be argued.

    •  Credibility with who? (0+ / 0-)

      So, Obama has several different audiences that he appeals to with this pick.

      1) His party - Obama knows that you dance with the one that brung ya.
      2) Voters generally - no, he's not up for reelection.  Yes, the people in Congress whose have to pass his bills are.  Voters always matter.
      3) Congress - It's a Republican House for the next 2 years, and a Democratic Senate.  There are what, 435 members of the House?  I'd guess that defense appropriations touch all 435 districts.  
      4) The Pentagon - it's going to be their boss, and while technically their job is to say yes, sir to civilian authority, they are used to getting their way.  
      5) The Defense Industry, aka, the Pentagon Senior Leadership Retirement Home.  It's their profit margins at stake.

      Okay, so, within that structure, who does picking a R help him with?
      1) His party?  No, they'll feel pushed aside and castrated, again.
      2) Voters generally?  Maybe, but my general feeling is that voters don't care about this kind of stuff.  
      3) Congress?  MAYBE helps with the R majority, but representatives are always going to care more about what a proposal does to their district more than they care about regard for a former colleague.  Also, regard for a former colleague doesn't seem worth much these days - witness the Senate Republicans hugging Bob Dole before stabbing him in the back on the disability treaty.
      4)  The Pentagon?  Picking a veteran certainly helps, but then again, he got out as an E-5 back in 1968.  Not sure how much that translates to dealing with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2012.  More than nothing, certainly.
      5)  Defense Industry?  I would guess these guys just care about the bottom line - they're going to fight for their share of the pie, no matter what.  They're going to judge you by how beholden you are to their interests - I imagine they love Panetta, even though he's a Dem, and his 2 years as an officer in the 60's don't weigh in that at all.

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