January 5, 2013
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is ready to nominate former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel to be the next secretary of defense, the Daily Beast reported Friday, citing sources privy to the process.
According to key Democrats working on the nomination, Obama reached the decision this week, after ruling out Ash Carter, the current deputy secretary of defense, and Michèle Flournoy, a former top Pentagon official, for the position.
The nomination is expected to be announced on Monday or Tuesday.
When Hagel’s name was first brought up last month as a possible replacement for Leon Panetta, it drew criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike, indicating Obama might be facing a fight with lawmakers over the decision.